Skills development

Access to skills is always a major talking point for Peterborough businesses. Opportunity Peterborough is here to help you to invest in your current workforce, access new talent and contribute to the development of your future workforce.

The city is well serviced with specialist further and higher education providers listed at the bottom of this page, and construction has begun on the £30 million ARU Peterborough, a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council initiative, set to open its doors to 2,000 students in 2022. The curriculum will be wholly grounded in the needs of local employers with an emphasis on providing students with industry experience. Consultations have already begun with employers – to get involved, talk to Opportunity Peterborough.


Leadership and mentoring

With so many changes happening around the world, leadership is a critical skillset employers are looking to develop within their existing workforce, and from new recruits. There are a number of national programmes which businesses can access such as Be the Business, the Small Business Leadership Programme. Opportunity Peterborough can also discuss your needs and put you in touch local specialist providers to suit your industry or workforce goals.


Taking on more staff? Whether you want to post your vacancy on our jobs page, access graduates and students, find a suitable agency workers or find out more about working with people with disabilities, ex-service personnel or ex-offenders, Opportunity Peterborough can help. We can also signpost to the professional service providers which are best able to meet your requirements. Contact us for free support.

We can put you in touch with organisations on the ground like Reed in Partnership. The team is running a fully-funded government programme to address skills and employment gaps in the local economy by upskilling and retraining people whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus. The team can source training so candidates have the qualifications and checks your organisation needs before recruiting. Click here to read more.

Kick Start Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme aims to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. The 6 month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.

Please note, the threshold for creating a minimum of 30 jobs has been removed.

Check if your business can apply for the scheme here.

Read the guide for employers here.

Training and development

Investing in your existing workforce is one of the most effective ways of improving your business prospects. Look after your employees, nurture their ambitions and they will repay you in hard work, innovative new ideas and loyalty.

To discuss your training and development requirements contact Opportunity Peterborough.


There has never been a better time to consider taking on an Apprentice. You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates, to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely.

The government has committed to creating an additional 3 million apprenticeship start in England by 2020. There is funding available through:

  • Apprenticeship Levy – payable by employers with a paybill over £3 million. Smaller businesses who do not pay the levy can still access it to part-fund apprentices in their organisation.
  • Kickstart Scheme – provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

The new university in Peterborough, ARU Peterborough will also provide higher level apprenticeships, and has begun consultation with local employers to ensure the curriculum supports the local economy and provides students with hands-on, high impact experiences in the workplace.

Did you know?

  • Apprenticeships can be used to train fresh new talent and re-skill existing staff to tackle skill shortages.
  • The mixture of on and off the job training ensures apprentices learn the skills that work best for your business and you can tailor the training to your needs.
  • They offer mentoring opportunities for your existing staff.
  • That 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation?
  • ​That 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity?
  • That 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service?

Further and Higher Education Providers

  • ARU Peterborough

    ARU Peterborough, a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council initiative, is a new £30 million university set to open its doors to 2,000 students in 2022 with an ambition to offer courses for up to 12,500 students, by 2032.

    read more
  • University Centre Peterborough

    University Centre Peterborough (UCP) is a £9 million, purpose-built higher education provider, which was established as a joint venture between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Peterborough College (PC) with which it shares its campus. It delivers degree level courses and higher education qualifications.

    The University Centre offers a broad portfolio of courses covering a range of subject areas and is rapidly developing specialisms in a number of key areas.

    read more

    The Greater Peterborough UTC (GPUTC) is a University Technical College in the centre of Peterborough with engineering and the built environment at its heart. The facility opened in September 2016 and the school has become the first choice for the city’s engineers, designers, architects, and construction specialists of the future.

    Students aged 14-19 have access to state-of -the-art building, using industry leading-facilities and equipment at the £12 million campus.

    read more
  • Peterborough College

    Peterborough College offers a diverse and broad range of courses ranging from Entry Level to Level 6 programmes, including BTEC and skill based courses, Access to Higher Education courses, HNCs, HNDs and Degrees through University Centre Peterborough (UCP).  Peterborough College works with hundreds of employers across the region, delivering apprenticeships and bespoke tailored provision to suit their needs.

    read more
  • City College Peterborough

    City College Peterborough has been providing adult education since 1944. Its offer includes college courses, apprenticeships, 16-19 full/part time courses and workplace training for the Peterborough community.

    The College focuses on providing courses and education to the all those who live in and work across Peterborough, including school leavers, apprentices, businesses, adults and families in over 60 communities, faith centres and schools.

    read more