SMART SKILLS – Devon has attracted £3.5 million of European Social Fund investment to help Small and Medium Enterprises across the whole county of Devon up-skill their staff. 

Our experienced and talented SMART SKILLS Advisers are on hand to guide you through the skills and training options available to your business and link you with the relevant training options for your organisation. Help is also available for unemployed people to gain new skills! 

SMART SKILLS Devon is delivered through our SMART Partners, City College Plymouth, Focus Training, Learn Devon, Petroc, South Devon College and the University of ExeterSMART SKILLS Partners offer a range of flexible training solutions from short courses through to full higher-level qualificationsFocusing on, although not limited to, the following sectors: 

  • Marine 
  • Digital Technologies (including AI and Data Analysis) 
  • Composite 
  • Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering 
  • Environmental Futures, Clean Growth and Renewables 
  • Construction & Hospitality (Leadership & Management)
  • Generic Leadership and Management 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing) 
  • Demand Led

For more information email our SMART SKILLS team today  –

SMART Partners


We are working with some fantastic Devon based SMART partners, click to find out more about them.


The Offer

Find out what SMART SKILLS help is on offer from each of our partners.



Learn more about SMART specialisation and how it could benefit you.

Meet The Advisers

Sean Gibson – SMART SKILLS Adviser
Tel: 07789 878751

I started my career in banking where I guided individuals and businesses with advice relating to finance.

More recently, I have worked at City College Plymouth in a business adviser role supporting local businesses to gain access to funding and training designed to upskill their existing workforce.

I have many years’ experience working in, and around, Plymouth and am excited to be working on the SMART SKILLS programme. SMART SKILLS will help businesses right across the county upskill their employees and aid business growth. I am looking forward to meeting new businesses across Devon and find out how SMART SKILLS will be able to enhance skills, build business growth and bring prosperity to our region.

Michael Sharman  – SMART SKILLS Adviser
Tel: 07881 551970

I initially began my journey within the Skills sector on an Apprenticeship within a Further Education setting, I held the role of an Employer Engagement Adviser within the Business Engagement team which included working closely with businesses ranging from Micro – Large.

Most recently, I worked as a Business Skills Adviser with the Local Authority, I worked closely to form professional relationships with businesses and carried out Business Needs Analysis to identify skills gaps, working with the businesses to find training solutions.

I am delighted to be working on the SMART SKILLS programme. SMART SKILLS will help businesses right across the county up skill their employees and aid business growth. I look forward to developing professional working relationships with businesses right across Devon.


“Relevant training is a key element to business growth and this Skills Support programme does just that – gives staff and management the skills training they need to develop and ultimately, grow the business.”

– Nicola Bailey from the Federation of Small Businesses

Read Success Stories

SMART SKILLS Labour Market Intelligence Survey 2021

We are constantly striving to gain real, up-to-date employer feedback about what skills training is required, whether this is short courses or longer term programmes.

Please take just a few moments to complete our quick survey to help inform us where funding is best placed for businesses just like you!

Click here for the survey

How to get in touch

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