Group of students in the Student Life Building

Leadership Growth Skills (LGS) Programme

Liverpool Business School (LBS) at Liverpool John Moores University is now managing the Leadership Growth Skills project across the Liverpool City Region (LCR) until the end of 2023.

The aim is to upskill people currently fulfilling, or with the future potential to undertake higher level management and leadership roles to improve productivity and growth across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens, and Wirral.

This project is receiving up to £1.3 million of funding from the European Social Fund, as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural Investment Funds Growth Programme in England, under Investment Priority Axis 2.1 – Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning for all age groups. (18 plus)

The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London, the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the European Social Fund programme.

The main programme objectives are:

  • To address the functional skills needs of employed people, particularly in SMEs and micro enterprises (i.e. less than 10 employees)
  • To increase the skills levels in leadership and management of employed people from the existing level to the next level up to encourage progression in employment. In effect gaining qualifications for skills at Level 2 and/or Level 3
  • To increase the number of people with leadership and management skills at Level 3 and above and into higher and advanced level apprenticeships (Level 4,5, 6 and 7) to support business growth
  • To support the skills level of employed women to encourage progression in the workplace, and help to address the gender employment and wage gap

Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion, and local community regenerations. For more information visit GOV.UK.

Who would benefit?

Both employees and employers of SMEs and micro enterprises would be the immediate beneficiaries of this learning opportunity.

  • Employees currently fulfilling junior management, supervision and leadership role(s).
  • Employees that have the potential for senior leadership role(s) that have been overlooked for whatever reason
  • Employees that manage teams
  • Employees working in areas such as project management and change
  • Team Leader or Supervisor that is new to management
  • Senior Managers and Directors that have not had formal Leadership and Management training previously
  • Employees managing other staff
  • Employees that have recently returned to work after caring for somebody
  • SME owners that want to learn more about inspiring leadership in a world of increased change from developments in digital transformation, climate change and sustainability

Please register your interest online or if uncertain about your eligibility contact our Project team who will be pleased to assist via email at

Liverpool City Region is committed to having a workforce that is representative of the community it serves. Therefore, this project is aimed at attracting people from under-represented groups such as those from ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and women. Additionally, Liverpool Business School values diversity and inclusion providing and inclusive and supportive environment.

Ultimately, this upskilling will have a ripple effect with work colleagues, family members, your supply chain and the wider economy through increased profits and greater awareness of the impact of digitisation and sustainability and how to adapt to the changes.

LGS Programme Delivery

This section is under construction and it is envisaged this will be completed by week commencing Monday 4 October 2021.

What you can Expect

  • A mixture of training in informal settings with an average of 3-4 hours per week attendance required.
  • Delivery across each of the 6 Boroughs of Liverpool City Region.
  • The majority of delivery will take place between 09:45 and 14:30 on weekdays.
  • Face-to-face (f2f) delivery is the preferred option, although we are mindful of the need to provide online sessions, if covid-19 leads to any further lockdown restrictions.
  • We will support you with supervision on your assignments.
  • Assistance with any relevant learning adjustments to suit your individual circumstances.
  • As the project is demand-led we will be flexible with the delivery content to ensure this aligns with what the participants expectations are for their learning and growth.
  • Chris Walters, Business Liaison Officer, will meet with you individually to carry out an individual learner assessment and registration form to identify the most appropriate learner journey before enrolling on the programme.

LGS Programme Schedule and Dates

This information is to be updated by Monday 11 October 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

Essentially, if you're aged 18+, live in the Liverpool City Region and have the right to work in England & Wales and work, as an employee or self-employed, of a small and medium (SME) business you will be eligible.

Below is a checklist that will assist you in eligibility for the programme:

  • Live in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) in one of the 6 boroughs of the Liverpool City Region
  • Aged 18 plus at the start of your programme date
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Working for a small and medium (SME) business either employed or on a self-employed basis

If you are unsure about eligibility, and you wish to discuss this with one of our Advisers please telephone: +44 07903 341044 or email:

About the LGS Project Team

Chris Walters
Business Liaison Officer (BLO)

Christine Walters

With an extensive corporate career in banking, finance and investments, I have worked closely with a wide range of SMEs, in the Liverpool City Region, most latterly, for the creative and digital sector with LCR Activate. (now closed)

Whilst it generated over 1,850 jobs and led to £70 million of private sector investment, it outlined how SMEs can gain access to disruptive technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR with input from Liverpool John Moores University Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Outside of work, I am a keen cyclist covering the roads and hills in Brighton, IoM, Cornwall and Mont Ventoux in the Provence. Volunteering has enabled me to support young children to overcome adversity with the Prince’s Trust for 18 years.


Tony Ayin
Programme & Delivery Manager (PM)

Tony Ayin

I have been working with SMEs for the last 10 years in the North West supporting on growth, innovation and leadership. My work background is in Sales & Marketing and have run my own consultancy for 5 years securing over £50 million in revenues for smaller businesses.

My parents came to England in the 1950s from Ghana and Ireland, and now I am a lucky grandfather to a boy and a girl from my only son and his wife. A former amateur rugby union player, coach and Vice Chairman I have transferred these skills into Latin and Ballroom dancing and the occasional round of golf.

I have the overall responsibility for this programme including recruitment, enrolment, delivery, feedback, compliance and the achievement of outputs and results liaising with the Managing Authority, Department of Work and Pensions for this European Social Fund project.


LinkedIn profile

Register your interest

To find out more about the programme and register interest please complete the form below and one of the Project Team will respond within 48 hours.


How we handle your data

We will use the information in this form to process and respond to your request and to comply with our legal obligations.

For further information as to how we handle your data, please see the Information Compliance Privacy Notice.