By Lynne Gowers on 26th March 2015

SMEs may benefit from skills funding

Many small businesses across the UK could be set to benefit from a new fund aimed at tackling the skills gap.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) believes a cash injection of around £1.5 million could play a key role in addressing the productivity gap of small businesses.

It is hoped a series of initiatives and projects could boost leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Under the UKCES scheme, large employers and organisations will be able to bid for a share of the funds to support their work with smaller firms in developing key skills.

However, the so-called anchor companies must agree to jointly invest in the programme and support local limited companies and smaller enterprises.

Each project will run for no more than a year and may tackle the UK’s productivity problem.

Recent figures reveal the country’s productivity levels are 20 per cent less than other advanced economies and this could have an impact on overseas investment levels.

UKCES commissioner Julie Kenny, explained: “Britain is falling behind the rest of the world in terms of productivity, meaning we are working more but producing less.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but current figures indicate that only a third of small firms provide any management training, compared to nearly three-quarters of larger firms.”

Written by Lynne Gowers
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