The challenge for Micro and Small Enterprises

images (209)In a recent speech in the House of Lords Prof Lord Bhattacharyya who is Professor of Manufacturing Systems at the University of Warwick, explained how the University partners with the Jaguar Land Rover Academy to provide education for the workers in the companies linked to the group. The Academy invests more than £150M a year to ensure that each employee benefits from lifelong learning. Being based in Sussex means that most companies including the one I work for are either micro enterprises (1-9 employees) or Small businesses (10-49 employees). Our company recently made the transition to becoming a Small Business following a period of protracted growth. However growing a business which often leads to an expanding  workforce also puts pressure on the cashflow of the company as each month the costs of materials and products rises, yet the timeliness of customers sometimes appears to diminish as the bigger contracts means dealing with larger corporations whose payment terms are a world away from the ideal 14 day or 30 day from the issuing of an invoice. All of this means that many of the businesses in Sussex could not match the Jaguar Landrover experience and so the local Universities and Colleges have to work in a very different manner to the excellent work carried out in Warwick. We all know that the Government likes to take credit for the creation of new jobs, in reality they are created by business such as ours, who work incredibly hard to win new business contracts, often despite the challenges created by the Government and its agencies. However perhaps if they want to take credit for some part of the process, they could ensure that there are the funds available to help with training for companies like ours that will never have £150M to spend each year on employees life long learning, yet help create new jobs, despite the austerity affecting our nation. Because we lack that sort of buying power, the only time we come into contact with the local Universities is when we are installing or maintaining their audio visual systems. These are the systems that they use to train all of their students. Yet many of the courses or training on offer to us are designed for businesses very different to ours, they provide single skills when what we need is a multi skilled approach that really is vital to our business prospering. It becomes easier for us to focus on people with the right aptitude and train them on the job, but some help from local training establishments would be really useful.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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