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May 03

How to get funding for training

Published by Tony Longland

News

Funding can be an essential element in helping businesses to develop staff and unlock their potential therefore improving the businesses performance Often businesses look outside for a stimulus (new exciting leader or marketing person) even though recruitment is very expensive and notoriously risky; great expense to advertise, interview and employ new person, with no guarantee of success (get wrong person). However, owners often shy away from investing in training or developing people from within, that they already know and who already know the business (values, aims and goals).

Why is this? Especially when funding can be drawn down to help!  Well, one common reason is that to access the funding there are usually criteria and that usually means  someone will have to ‘scrutinise’ the plans to develop the business. Why should that be a concern? Well, often because the business owner does not really have clear plans and evidence to back up the decision to ‘develop’. That doesn’t mean it is not a good idea or the right thing to do, in fact getting an advisor to speak with you regarding what funding is available can be a useful evaluation tool, in deciding if you have the right things in place, such as:

  • A sound business plan, which identifies the opportunities for the business to grow
  • A structured Workforce Development Plan, showing who and what is needed for the future plans, the current skills and capabilities and  the ‘training gap’
  • A diagnostics of what the current business and skills situation is
  • A development plan

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but when businesses seek funding they need to be aware that these sorts of things will be required or at least some ideas about them, as many funding streams or providers, will offer assistance with many of these areas to help businesses gain the funding.  One example is the recently launched ‘Leadership and Management Advisory Service’; a national fund aimed at owner managers and senior leaders of businesses and social enterprises with plans and potential to achieve high growth, to develop their leadership and management skills.

This funding, eligible companies need between 2-249  employees, to be located in England and be able to clearly demonstrate their potential for high or fast growth brings benefits of:

  • Help in identifying their leadership and management skills needs via a free diagnostic
  • A personal development plan to specify the development the leader will undertake to maximise employee contribution to business growth potential
  •  A review the impact of the personal development and offer additional support in embedding learning in the culture of the organisation 

The funding offers up to a £1000 grant, 50% matched funding (i.e. £2k training costs would attract £1k; an £800 cost would attract a grant of £400) for leadership and management training. More information on the Leadership and Management Advisory Service providers and other funding opportunities, visit the Business Link website, or contact Target Training. 

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