So here’s the a “starter for 10” ……… If I could show you a way of increasing your training budget by a factor of 10 without it costing you a penny more would that be of any interest?

If so then please read on – if not then thanks for looking in and I wish you well.

So …. let’s talk about “Apprenticeships”.

But before I go any further let me explain one thing – I’m not talking about the sort of Apprenticeships that were around “when I were a lad” – I’m talking about super high quality, publically subsidised, work relevant training programmes that actually deliver substantial benefit to your business.

Ok … I promise that I won’t quote the usual worn out government statistics – honestly ….. but ….. as a business owner myself all I hear at network meetings is just how hard it is to find people with the right skills. My response normally is “I don’t have that problem – I invest in training my own staff to do the jobs I want them to do.”

Sigh ….. I can hear you groaning but give me a chance – please read on this could be a really interesting way to sort out some of your staffing issues.

Right then cards on the table – I am the MD of a Training Company that delivers super high quality work based training programmes AKA Apprenticeships – there I’ve said it!!

It is a never-ending source of amazement to me that there is literally buckets full of public money available to help us meet the skills gap that we’re all whinging about yet hardly anyone is taking it up. I think that has a lot to do with us not really “getting it”. So the remainder of this article is aimed at helping us “get it”.

Right then back to the beginning – let me emphasise one thing –  in the context of this article an Apprenticeship is a collective term that refers to a “super high quality work based and relevant training programme aimed at developing the skills we need to compete in the real world” – it could be called anything but “Apprenticeship” seems to fit pretty well.

So what is an “Apprenticeship” then? Apart from the “super high quality” thing it is a structured programme of education and training, which is relevant to your business, that the government pay for – well most of anyway! To quote a rather annoying advert “simples”! 

And what’s more the government put £9 into the pot for every £1 you spend …. But, and here’s the good bit …. You also get “incentive” payments that can pretty much pay the £1 as well – but as you would probably guess with any government programme, there’s loads of eligibility criteria that can affect just how much you will get back and when. Any training provider worth their salt will be able to give you this “chapter and verse”.

And then there’s the Levy – simply put this is a payroll tax you can get back by putting your staff through “super high quality “ … well you get the picture. I’ll look into this a bit further in another article.

So the question I’ve been asking myself is “why is any sane business owner who needs their staff training and up-skilling not taking my hands off to get this?”

The answer is pretty depressing really and not unsurprising, in my experience talking to businesses up and down the south west, most business owners and managers haven’t got the time to delve into the depressingly complex rules and regulations, have had a, shall we say, a “mixed” experience of government training initiatives and to be honest have better things to do with their time. Let me just say “£9 for every £1 spent people!! “

Right …. Here’s a challenge should you wish to accept it – either get with the programme, develop your staff for your businesses benefit or stop whinging about the skills shortage – it really is getting pretty dull to keep hearing about it and not seeing any “self-help” happening.

Here’s my commitment – My staff and I will be delighted to help you understand just how “Apprenticeships” can REALLY benefit your business – I’m talking bottom line here – and show you just how brilliant it is to have people in your business who are learning new skills and applying new knowledge that really moves you forward

Over to you!!