How extra training and apprenticeships could aid UK businesses

Small businesses across the UK are recognising the value of apprenticeships but don’t want the hassle of the administration that is attached to them, new research suggests.


A survey of 250 businesses in the West Midlands by training firm BCTG revealed that 95% of firms believe apprenticeships can boost skills and motivation.


More than 20% of these firms reported an increase in revenue and financial turnover as a result of hiring in extra staff or providing extra training.


Around half of staff who received additional training took on new roles within businesses as a result while 75% of firms suggested that training providers could help to manage their apprenticeship programmes.


The study into employer views on extra training and apprenticeships found that many recognise the benefits but are put off by the additional work that is attached.


Having to administer an apprenticeship scheme was one of the main stumbling blocks, as employers wanted to focus more on other aspects of their business.


While this is understandable as small businesses will want to drive sales and growth, having apprenticeship places could significantly aid the existing workforce.


Not only does it remove some of the pressures that they face but it also encourages greater productivity and a better working environment.


The results of the survey highlight a willingness to embrace training and other help schemes yet several barriers appear to be holding back small businesses.


Assistance with funding is a key issue as many smaller firms will lack the necessary finance to employ extra staff – especially if they are working on tight budgets or cash flows.


These businesses have to be careful to ensure they don’t overspend, as they are particularly at risk of requiring corporate recovery should their finances not be managed properly.


However, with prior planning and access to funding, many businesses stand to benefit from considering apprenticeship roles or extra training for their staff.


By Phil Smith


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