Funding for Training in your Business
In today’s current economic climate, in a post-covid world, the value of retraining and reskilling your workforce cannot be understated. The question a lot of business owners may ask then is where they can access the funding to support the further development of their workforce.
To begin, the eligibility of your company to access funding is dependent on a range of factors such as its size, location, sector, and purpose of the grant. The Grants Hub is a useful website that breaks down the grants available by sector and provides information on the criteria and statistics. The Prince’s Trust also provides development awards to aid in training the younger workforce. They cover the cost of course fees and the necessary equipment required to progress learning. Their grants can range from £175,000-£250,000 based on eligibility and subject to meeting the criteria.
Both public and private grants are available depending on your goal and the amount you are wanting to receive. For example, government-funded grants are often able to offer more money and cover all costs as opposed to that of private grants. This is potentially offset however by its accessibility, with a larger number of people applying for the award. Thus government funding can be highly sought after and very competitive. With private funding, there is likely to be a smaller volume of applicants with possibly fewer regulations in place and a faster turnaround than public institutions.
Examples of training programmes offered by the government are the National Apprenticeship Service and The National Careers Service. The latter is a part of The Skills Funding Agency which supports training organisations and employers to aid in the further development of employee upskilling and learning. According to The Grants Hub, £3.2 billion in funding is spent on this each year meaning that the scheme is well-rounded and accessible to different applicants.
Private grants may be an alternative option for your business. There are some available for smaller businesses to increase their growth and skills of the workforce. CITB, the industry training board for the construction sector in the UK, is offering a fund to aid in skills and training for small and micro-sized construction businesses. More information and eligibility criteria can be found on their website. Furthermore, organisations such as the B&CE Charitable Trust and ECITB offer grants to construction businesses and engineering companies respectively. B&CE has supported such organisations as Barnardos and Women into Construction. Further guidance can be found on their websites.
More recently, the Suffolk and Norfolk councils have collaborated to provide the Supply Chain Skills Development Fund. Through this, small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from employee training to help enhance their workforce. The maximum amount available is £1,000 per employee which must be matched 50% by the employer. This demonstrates how funding is available depending on region and information can be accessed by perusing your local council’s website also to look at the funding programmes available.
With upskilling and retraining being more highly thought of than ever before, it is vital that businesses utilise both public and private funding opportunities to develop their workforce.