The drive to create the West Midlands' business leaders of tomorrow has gathered pace, with the launch of a new £2 million programme aimed at helping local companies become more competitive.
Funded by Advantage West Midlands and delivered by Business Link in the West Midlands, the Leadership and Management project will work with more than 1,000 senior managers over the next three years to boost skills and expertise.
The aim is to help the region bridge the £10 billion productivity gap by 2010.
"This is a very exciting project, open to companies employing 50 people or more and with 50 per cent of the costs subsidised," said Bally Bhogal, the regional leadership and management programme manager.
"Its development follows a successful pilot project and takes on board extensive feedback from participating companies and the business community. The focus is on encouraging companies to boost the skills of their managers in the pursuit of greater efficiencies and bottom line business benefits.
"A dedicated leadership and management professional will work with members of the senior management team for up to six days. They will help identify the key performance indicators for boosting business, team and/or individual performance and the skills they need to achieve this.
"By working through an agreed implementation plan, employers will also be guided to the right training from some of the best providers in the UK."
All of the development activity will be delivered in the workplace and will cover areas, such as business strategy, change management, communication, action planning and building long-term profitability.
The idea is for a number of managers to work together on the learning opportunities and then cascade them down to other members of staff so that best practice can be shared and embedded across the business.
Ms Bhogal said: "We don't want this to be just a one off for companies. During the initial support it is likely that individuals will identify other areas where they could benefit from more training."