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In just one year, the business world as we know it has changed dramatically, and ensuring your business succeeds throughout challenging times can seem like an impossible task.

The unpredictability businesses have been facing during the pandemic, means planning ahead has been extremely difficult. Many will have changed the way they operate, which may have resulted in a skills gap within their team, which is why investment in team training is essential to help accelerate business recovery in a post-COVID world. 

With the launch of government training funds from this month, businesses across the UK can take advantage of these funds to upskill existing staff. Whether that’s through an apprenticeship levy, the adult education budget, or advance learner loans – there are a variety of options available for all sized businesses.

High demand for “common” skills

With the end of lockdown likely to be announced in the coming months, it’s time to consider how new and existing staff can be upskilled in a post-COVID world – and to make the best use of the government funds available.

How can staff be supported if they have been furloughed and then brought back into the workplace? What if teams are rearranged and employees will have to take on completely different tasks? The answer lies in providing training which covers a mix of hard and common skills needed to carry out a job. 

Over recent months, there has been a bigger demand for skills such as resilience, stress management, mindfulness or time management, which makes sense if we think about today’s ongoing issues with stress and pressure. 

In fact, a skills and employment trends report* recently published by The Skills Network, in partnership with Emsi, has highlighted a mental health awareness skills gap in the UK jobs market, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – making it one of the top 10 most in demand skills in the UK.                                                        

Finding the right online learning partner will facilitate the process of identifying those gaps, tailoring training and implement it as and when needed. 

Businesses should consider training that gives employers flexibility to learn and to apply their knowledge straight after in the workplace – this is critical in the future of business training. Ensuring your business thrives in a post-COVID world is not going to be easy, but there are plenty of Government training funds and expert online training partners who can help you get there. 

Government funds available for businesses

  • The apprenticeship levy is available for businesses with wages of £3m or more who will pay the levy and have funds to spend on apprenticeships
  • The apprenticeship non levy is available for businesses with wages of less than £3m who will need to contribute approximately 5% of the training costs and then 95% is provided by the government
  • The adult education budget is available for businesses who want to put employees through a qualification, with some learners being fully funded or co-funded based on their eligibility
  • Advance learner loans for any adult who is over 18 and wants to do a Level 3 qualification

For more information on The Skills Network, visit www.theskillsnetwork.com

Stuart Allen
Contributed by Stuart Allen
Bethany Wright
Article by Bethany Wright
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