Businesses are being urged to make use of government funding to train their existing staff, instead of making redundancies that will contribute the UK’s rising unemployment rate.
While figures released by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) suggest the number of people out of work in the UK has risen to just under two million, more employers are turning to making redundancies as they struggle under increasing pressure to reduce overheads.
The LSC is encouraging those businesses to take advantage of government funding for training, which may increase motivation and productivity, factors that Michael Carrington of University College Birmingham says can help businesses grow and survive the recession.
“Those (businesses) that make the right investment in training and development will be in a much better place when we come out if the recession,” he said. “Training is one of the corner stones of any successful business today, as it makes the organisation adaptable to change and therefore more productive.
“The last thing you should do is cut your training; now is not the time to lose employees to competition.”
The government has invested £30m in the LSC’s Leadership and Management programme, a dedicated course designed to help leaders and managers from SMEs (businesses employing between 10 and 250 people) to improve their skills. The LSC will also send a Train to Gain skills broker to carry out a complimentary diagnosis and training action plan for each individual.
Chris Banks, chair of the LSC said businesses needed to ‘insulate’ against the credit crunch wherever possible. “We know that businesses which don’t invest in training are two-and-a-half times more likely to fail,” he said. “Without doubt this extra money and support for smaller businesses really could make the difference between success and failure.
“Real help is now available for those who need it most in the current economic climate. Making sure your staff are equipped with the right skills is critical to helping your business survive these tough times. We urge all employers to take advantage of it.”
Train to Gain offers businesses a variety of funded and part-funded packages to help train staff to their required level, including free level two qualifications, free maths and English qualifications, and part-funded level three qualifications.