SMEs must fill skills gap to improve productivity

31 January 2020

Skills training essential to business growth in Lancashire

Lancashire businesses need to prioritise workforce training in order to buck the trend of low productivity across the county, according to a skills expert at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Johanne Agnola, of the University’s UpSkilling Lancashire programme has called on more small business owners to develop the skills of their workforce to improve productivity and staff retention.

Despite the county possessing over 50,000 businesses, the area performs around 25 per cent less effectively than the rest of the country.

UpSkilling Lancashire is a part funded project by the European Social Fund and run by UCLan. Its aim is to increase the skills and capabilities of employees, enabling businesses to compete regionally, nationally and internationally.

The team assists businesses to identify skill gaps and develop the talent required for SMEs in Lancashire to grow. Once those skills gaps have been identified, the team are able to suggest pathways to training courses and programmes.

Johanne Agnola, Project Officer at Upskilling Lancashire, said: “The better your employees are at their job, the more successful your business will be. It really is that simple. People that feel valued are likely to be more productive, more effective, more engaged and will consistently go above and beyond to support your business.

Johanne Agnola
Johanne Agnola

“Your business will be better prepared for any challenges it might face, particularly as we approach uncertain economic times. You are likely to have a competitive edge over similar companies, which is particularly important if you are looking for new clients or expansion. In today’s business world, it’s crucial to develop a positive reputation for being a company where people want to work.’’

For more information about the UpSkilling Lancashire project please contact 01772 895500 or