Costs a barrier for small firms training

Small firms are finding that costs are a barrier to undertaking more training and the courses around compliance and technical skills that are on offer lack flexibility

Small companies are continuing to train staff through tough economic times but could do with more support and increased funding.

The focus on apprenticeships championed by the current government is seen as a positive step by members of the Forum of Private Business but they feel that more could be done to develop existing staff as well as to bring back into work the long-term unemployed.

The business lobby group carried out a skills and training review of its membership finding that many felt that cost was a barrier to increasing the levels of training they offered and asking staff to spend time off-site to get accredited was not a popular option.

The survey also revealed that small firms are finding that the training courses they are offered lack the flexibility they are looking for and as a result are unattractive ones for staff to attend.

"For the sake of small businesses and the economy, it is important that small businesses are able to access the right training for their staff at the right price.  Unfortunately, while there have been some improvements recently, this is often not the case at present," said the Forum's chief executive, Phil Orford.

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