SMALL BUSINESSES MUST BE RECOGNISED FOR THEIR ROLE AS SKILLS TRAINERS
Small businesses that offer on-the-job training are contributing to a skilled workforce, but are going totally unrecognised, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. According to the FSB s biennial survey of 8,700 members, learning by doin
Small businesses that offer on-the-job training are contributing to a
skilled workforce, but are going totally unrecognised, the Federation of
Small Businesses (FSB) has warned.
According to the FSB's biennial survey of 8,700 members, 'learning by doing'
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was one of the most popular and effective training methods for employees.
Nearly 70 per cent of responding firms saw sustained growth after their
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employees taught themselves by getting on with the job, while more than half
grew as a result of being given on the job training by a superior.
But the survey results, entitled Putting the economy back on track: Skills
and training, point out that much beneficial training is unaccredited by
policy makers, leaving small businesses and their employees skilled but with
no official qualifications.
Respondents also reported that the Government's 'Train to Gain' programme,
which offers training schemes to small firms, is not meeting their training
This illustrates that it is often easier for small firms to provide their
own tailored training for their employees. However, the programme has
recently been reformed, and the FSB hopes to see new funding allocated to
the hardest-to-reach and smallest businesses, which need it most.
Dr Gary Packham, Head of Enterprise at Glamorgan University, where the
report was compiled, said, "Many small firms are finding that there are
basic skills shortages in new staff and that it is not only efficient but
effective to train their staff in-house. However, for the smallest firms,
providing training can be a challenge, and certainly is a struggle when they
train up their staff but aren't recognised for it."
Herts-based FSB Policy Representatve Tim Weaver said, "It's time that small
businesses that give their employees their own beneficial training are
officially recognised for doing so. The role small businesses play in this
area of training the UK's workforce should be properly acknowledged and the
achievements of small firm employees actually recognised under official
"In the current economic climate, it is also imperative that the Government,
employers and employees invest in the skills they need to both support small
businesses and get people back into work during these difficult times.