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Abby Sheard

Business Skills Adviser - supporting SMEs with upskilling and recruitment (She/her)

What I do:

I offer fully-funded support to SMEs and third-sector organisations across Wakefield district to:
– train and upskill staff;
– help attract new talent, particularly through connections with colleges and universities;
– connect your business to education (schools, colleges and universities), to inspire the younger generation and provide opportunities for young people to engage with your business.

What steps I took to get where I am now:

I’ve previously worked in central government, and have enjoyed the transition to local government, where I can to solve real-world problems with businesses, and see the day-to-day impact of my support.
The training and skills landscape across West Yorkshire is generous…but complicated! For businesses who want to access support but don’t know where to start, I can do the work behind the scenes to support you to access the training, resources and talent that best suits your business.

What creative opportunities I'm looking for:

I would love to be able to work with more creative businesses across Wakefield. There is so much talent coming through our schools, colleges and universities, and so many businesses who have amazing experience and opportunities to bring to the table. I can draw those two sides together, and support the businesses fully along the way! Bringing new ideas, talent and a fresh perspective into your business doesn’t have to be overwhelming or an extra burden.

It’s especially helpful for businesses who have a long to-do list of projects or ideas that they would love to have the time to complete…but keep getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list! Why not put that project to university students, for them to problem-solve as part of their course? Or bring in a partially-funded intern for 6 weeks, to get it off the ground? You’ll find that these opportunities also pave the way for a talent pipeline as you grow!