Skills & Training

Developing Your People

Copeland Skills & Enterprise Partnership

The Copeland Skills and Enterprise Partnership, consists of 24+ local providers who deliver support to Copeland residents with training, employment and enterprise related skills. During 2023 – 2026, the Partnership is delivering a programme of support consisting of the following work streams:


This workstream will provide support to employers where there is a requirement to close skills gaps within their business and/or develop a pipeline of work ready workers with specific skill sets. The workstream will be employer driven and could incorporate sort or longer term development programmes at a range of levels.


Through wage subsidies and employee training opportunities, this workstream will enable business and enterprise to grow faster and develop employee skill-sets in line with business needs and addressing skills gaps where relevant. The wage subsidy will be available to small/medium employers based within Copeland and contribute to employee’s wage and training expenses for up to 26 weeks.

Download the flyer here


This workstream will focus on business and enterprise development, with a strong focus on addressing skills gaps enabling businesses to grow. There will be a close connection to other Programme workstreams, that will provide the necessary support to upskill potential entrepreneurs and individuals preparing for self-employment.


This workstream will equip participants at different stages on their pathway, as they prepare for either work or enterprise. Participants will be encouraged to: develop their abilities in ‘skill gap’ areas highlighted by employers such as leadership, teamwork and public speaking; access pre-employment interventions to improve confidence, motivation and aspiration; engage in work experience interventions such as volunteering to develop work related skills and qualities; engage in activities to support the development of numeracy, literacy and digital skills. Some of the interventions will be bespoke and be tailored towards specific client groups such as older jobseekers (over 50’s) or claimants with health conditions or disabilities. Activities will be designed in conjunction with partners, and encourage the pooling of resources.


This workstream will focus on addressing financial barriers faced by participants trying to progress on their employability pathway. Small pots of funding are available to: access employment related training courses; purchase equipment for online learning; or to develop knowledge and skills to support a new enterprise or business,

The latest three-year Programme is jointly funded by Copeland Community Fund & Sellafield Ltd.


Contact details for the Copeland Skills and Enterprise Partnership is: Chris Cunliffe, Copeland Skills and Enterprise Officer, Email:


What is this programme about?

This programme is designed to help candidates develop the core requirements and knowledge to support entry into Bus/Coach driving within the transport sector.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for unemployed residents. Customers must reside in the area formerly known as Copeland. All ages from 21 and upwards are included.

The programme is ideal for anyone who already has a UK driving licence and is looking to get the full category D licence and initial PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) in order to work as a bus/ coach driver. The training provided is industry recognised and will give you a head start when applying for vacancies with Bus and Coach companies.

Programme Outline

 Eligibility check      
Identification docs / barriers/ health / availability Cumberland Council 12 weeks
Pre-Programme Requirements
PCV Medical SP Training
DBS Check & Application process SP Training
Category D Provisional Licence Completion SP Training
Employability skills e.g. Industry awareness / Basic English/Maths, CV Writing SP Training
Employer meet ups Employers
Full Category D Requirements
Module 1a & 1b Theory Test SP Training
Module 2 – Case Study SP Training
Module 3a & 3b – Practical Training & Tests SP Training
Module 4 – Practical Demonstration Training & Test SP Training
Employability skills e.g.  Customer Service, First Aid, Tacograph SP Training
Interview with Employers

Where/when will the programme activities take place?

Eligibility check at Job Centre Plus, Whitehaven.

Programme activities at SP Training (Workington)

Eligibility check

The eligibility check is to make sure candidates have all the necessary requirements to join the programme activities and be able to apply for the pre- programme requirements.  An informal meeting will be arranged by DWP to meet with two Skills and Enterprise Officers to go through a brief questionnaire.

Pre-Programme Requirements

This will include:

PCV medical. As part of the provisional licence application, candidates are required to pass a routine PCV medical examination.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service ) security check, SP training will support candidates to apply for a DBS check.

Category D Provisional Licence Completion. SP training will support candidates to complete and submit a provisional licence application. This will be sent to DVLA along with their completed medical and photo card licence.

Employability Skills.  Candidates will need a basic level of maths, English and IT skills and be able to take online assessments. Support will be given by to help candidates find out what level of these skills they have and provide support to develop those skills to a necessary level.

Employer Meet Ups

Candidates will meet up with local employers who have vacancies for bus /coach drivers. They will gain an insight into the industry, the role of the bus/ coach driver, career paths and the opportunities they can offer.

Full Category D Requirements

There are 4 modules of training that need to be completed.

Module 1a and 1b Theory Test, this consist of 2 parts, a multiple-choice test and a Hazard Perception test, both are online.

Module 2- Case Study, this test is made up of 7 case studies to work through on a computer. Between 6 and 8 multiple choice questions will be asked on each case study.

Module 3a & 3b – Practical Training & Tests, once candidates have successfully completed their theory tests, they commence a three day practical training course and a practical test.

Module 4 – Practical Demonstration Training & Test, candidates will be tested on their ability to load a vehicle following safely rules and to keep it secure, stop trafficking in illegal immigrants, assess emergency situations, and do a walk around vehicle safety check.

Resits are available for all modules if they are needed.

Employability skills

There will be a series of short courses for example Customer Service, First Aid, Tacograph. The hours taken to do these courses will count toward driver CPC requirements.

Interview with Employers

Each candidate that successfully completes all aspects of the programme will be guaranteed at least one interview for a live vacancy with a bus/coach company.

Download the flyer here

To register your interest, please email:


A five week course starting on Tuesday 11th June at the Lakes College, CA14 4JN

Are you looking for work in an office and/or business environment but keen to boost your confidence using and staying safe with IT?

For more information download the flyer here