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Train to Gain offers additional support for for smaller businesses
A more flexible Train to Gain package is now available for small and medium sized businesses.
The measures, launched in January, include free and part-funded bite-size training courses in areas such as finance and credit, profit management, risk management, business systems and processes, team working and communications, sales and marketing, IT and customer service.
Train to Gain's leadership and management programme was extended in November, so that eligible businesses with between five and 250 employees can access up to £1,000 in funding in areas such as coaching and mentoring or working towards a qualification.
Businesses can also equip staff with a range of skills at different levels with the announcement of free and part-funded training through Train to Gain at Level 2 and Level 3.
Managed by the Learning and Skills Council, Train to Gain is a government service that aims to support employers in England, of all sizes and in all sectors, to improve the skills of their employees. According to government figures, Train to Gain has supported over 570,000 learners to begin their learning programmes. Over 254,000 learners have achieved a full level 2 qualification and over 16,000 learners have full level 3 achievements.
Chris Banks, chair of the Learning and Skills Council, said: "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 know that businesses which don't invest in training are two-and-a-half times more likely to fail. Without doubt this extra money and support for smaller businesses really could make the difference between success and failure. We urge all employers to take advantage of it."
John Lucas, policy advisor at the British Chamber of Commerce said: "It is critical that small businesses ensure they have the skills they need in place to see them through these very difficult times.
"Staff need highly transferable skills which will not only benefit business but also the employee, enabling both to see through the tough times and emerge in the best possible position to drive their businesses forward."
Skills minister Lord Young said: "It's more important than ever that businesses and people have access to real help in these tougher times. That is why we have made Train to Gain more flexible so that it can respond particularly to the needs of small businesses.
"We know that businesses will benefit from investing in the skills of their employees. We encourage all businesses to take advantage of the new flexibilities. This is not the time to stop investing in skills."
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