Chancellor Rishi Sunak has urged small and medium-sized business owners to sign up to the government’s Help to Grow scheme and gain access to free training.
The scheme was announced in this year’s Budget to help provide small businesses with the necessary skills to innovate, grow and support the economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. Help to Grow opened to applications in May this year and will offer 30,000 SMEs across the UK with access to business expertise on topics from financial management to marketing.
Speaking at one of the first courses being delivered at Aston Business School in Birmingham, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
Small businesses are key to our innovation and economy and will therefore be an essential part to our recovery from the pandemic, which is why we are levelling up their skills through the Help to Grow schemes.
“I want to bring some of the best bits of management training from around the world to help boost productivity here in the UK.
“Help to Grow: Management will ensure our brilliant SMEs seize every opportunity to grow, fuelling our Plan for Jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.”
The programme is being delivered by business schools across the country and was developed in close partnership with the business community, including with input from the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses and Institute of Directors. Analysis by the CBI and ONS figures suggest that small improvements in management can boost productivity by 10%, and add £100 billion to the UK economy. Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI President, said:
SME’s have shown a real tenacity throughout the crisis, and innovation has often been at the heart of this. Help to Grow is a perfect way to capitalise on this newly found dynamism, productivity and digital adoption among businesses.
“Management training, access to digital advice and supporting firms to make productivity-enhancing investments will help firms to scale up and reach the next level. I wish this first cohort every bit of success as they build a more profitable, resilient and productive businesses.”
The Help to Grow: Management Programme offers a 12-week executive training programme to small business leaders, delivered by the UK’s leading business schools and forms part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. 30,000 places will be available over three years and courses will be added on a rolling-basis.
Businesses can apply for a Help to Grow course and view participating business schools online via the programme’s website.