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Small businesses in £520m training boost as bosses get chance to return to college

Small businesses in £520m training boost as bosses get the chance to return to college and improve their management skills

  • Small business bosses to get chance to go back to college to benefit from professional management advice in a £520million Budget plan
  • It is part of Rishi Sunak’s Help to Grow Scheme to get economy back on track 
  • The scheme, which aims to boost productivity, is expected to help 130,000 firms

Small business bosses are to get the chance to go back to college to improve their management skills in a £520million Budget plan to boost productivity.

Rishi Sunak will unveil the Help to Grow scheme tomorrow as part of wider plans to get the economy back on track.

Mr Sunak, who gained an MBA degree from Stanford University in the US, said he wanted more business people to benefit from professional management advice.

The scheme, which will also subsidise business software designed to improve efficiency, is expected to help 130,000 firms.

Rishi Sunak will unveil the Help to Grow scheme tomorrow as part of wider plans to get the economy back on track 

The Chancellor said: ‘Our brilliant small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and generating prosperity – so it’s vital they can access the tools they need to succeed.

‘Help to Grow will ensure they are embracing the latest technology and management training, fuelling our Plan for Jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.’ The scheme will give firms access to subsidised courses at top business schools.

The Treasury said dozens of the UK’s leading institutions had signed up to offer 50 hours of tuition with one-to-one support from a business mentor.

Tony Danker, of the CBI business organisation, said many small firms lacked 'the cash and capacity to keep innovating' after working flat out to survive last year's downturn. Pictured: an empty high street in Shrewsbury in January during England's third national lockdown

Tony Danker, of the CBI business organisation, said many small firms lacked ‘the cash and capacity to keep innovating’ after working flat out to survive last year’s downturn. Pictured: an empty high street in Shrewsbury in January during England’s third national lockdown

The Office for National Statistics said earlier this month that over the whole of 2020 the economy dived by 9.9 per cent - the worst annual performance since the Great Frost devastated Europe in 1709

The Office for National Statistics said earlier this month that over the whole of 2020 the economy dived by 9.9 per cent – the worst annual performance since the Great Frost devastated Europe in 1709

The move reflects concern that some British firms are failing to take advantage of the latest management and IT expertise.

The Treasury said the UK ranks fifth among the G7 group of industrialised nations for use of modern management techniques. Evidence suggests even small improvements in management could lead to a 10 per cent increase in productivity.

Firms can also get £5,000 towards software. The Treasury said modern customer relationship management software could boost sales by up to 18 per cent per employee.

Tony Danker, of the CBI business organisation, said many small firms lacked ‘the cash and capacity to keep innovating’ after working flat out to survive last year’s downturn.

He added: ‘The UK has some of the most productive companies in the world but also a long tail who are not yet firing on all cylinders.’

Mike Cherry, national president of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Practical help matters most when it comes to productivity growth in small firms.’

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