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Budget 2021: Help to Grow demonstrates that now is the time to focus on giving businesses the right skills to thrive
Posted on: 05/03/2021
With the extension of furlough, clarity on financial support, and changes to the tax regime taking centre-stage in the Spring Budget 2021, one might be forgiven for not spending too much time on Help to Grow, the government’s new growth-focused scheme for small and medium sized businesses.
According to a Dorset-based entrepreneur, it is a really important step in the right direction, and local business leaders should take the opportunity to invest.
Since the announcement on March 3rd, David Bartlett, Managing Director of thatLIFT – a corporate and executive training company based in the region – has been fielding enquiries about what the scheme really offers and how it can benefit companies.
“For many years, small and medium businesses have been excluded from business education because the investment cost can look incredibly high and the returns are uncertain. Business Schools can offer a great foundation-level of learning, but access can be cost-prohibitive for businesses and because it then becomes focused on only a few individuals, it can be really sensitive across teams in a workplace. Consequently, other than for much larger businesses it is rarely considered”.
The new government scheme has two workstreams, a Management programme providing executive development to help improve business performance and growth, and a Digital programme designed to help companies better adopt technology to boost their sales performance and customer relationships.
Companies registered with between 5 and 249 employees, that have been trading for more than a year are eligible for 30,000 places across the UK. The scheme is 90% subsidised by the government, meaning only a £750 fee for a 12-week curriculum, 1-2-1 mentoring, and peer-learning alongside normal full-time work for one decision-maker in a company.
“As a corporate trainer, this is a great endorsement for what we believe in”, Bartlett added. “Giving a foundation level of understanding is incredibly important. Over the last 17 years, I have found so many companies simply pick up the tools and techniques for managing a modern business on-the-fly while they operate, or even resort to searching on Google. Taking the opportunity to learn some the building blocks will help companies to understand better where their challenges lie and what training their people will need to help them rejuvenate and grow”.
“Although Business Schools will have some limitations in terms of how to overlay practical, real-life experience to all the unique business scenarios that modern companies face, and the offer is for one individual per company, at this price it is a low-cost opportunity to learn the ropes and share with their broader team. It then gives corporate training the opportunity to really press-forward its value, by focusing on the real application of best-practice with company-specific business context, based on first-hand experience”.
The scheme is targeted to launch in June 2021 and will last for 3 years. Further details can be found on the Help to Grow government website where interest can be registered.
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