Business Action | February / March 2019

businessaction

Independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

With employment at record

high levels across North

Devon, and the exit date

for Britain’s departure from

the EU only weeks away,

there has never been a more

important time for businesses

to consider whether

they have the skills needed to

compete in the future.

Colleges and universities

have a range of expertise, but

it isn’t always as accessible

and as relevant to businesses

as it should be. Accessing

the best training can be

particularly challenging for

small and medium-sized

enterprises (SMEs), which

altogether make-up 99.8% of

companies in North Devon

and Torridge. SMEs may

struggle to commit their

employees to more traditional

courses that require

large amounts of time outside

the workplace. This can be

particularly difficult in a large

rural area like North Devon

with a limited road network.

New higher and degree

apprenticeships, which

SKILLS

University offers

free workplace

needs assessment

Take advantage of this opportunity to assess what skills your

business needs to succeed offered by the University of Plymouth

provide work-based training

and a higher education

qualification, go some way

towards addressing these

issues. Not only is the

content of such qualifications

more relevant to businesses

but, to take the example of

the University of Plymouth’s

Chartered Manager degree

apprenticeship, most of the

tutors have considerable

industry experience.

However, learning

providers can only provide

relevant courses for

employees if they understand

what businesses need. Larger

businesses often have more

opportunities to engage with

educational institutions and

large training budgets.

Free needs assessment

To help address this, the University

of Plymouth has been

working with colleges across

Devon, including Petroc, on

a Strategic Employer Engagement

in Devon project

funded by the European

Social Fund. The project

works directly with SMEs

across Devon to boost the

■ ■ To discuss your free workplace needs assessment, contact

Charles Dorr, ESF delivery manager on 01752 583620 or visit

plymouth.ac.uk/research/strategic-employer-engagement

skills of their workforce and

develop higher level vocational

training which is more

responsive to businesses.

The project provides free

Workplace Needs Assessments

for businesses across

the county to help understand

and address their individual

skills needs, as well as

free CPD and taster sessions

on such areas as team leadership

and data analysis.

6 March export event

One example is an event on

‘International Trade after

Brexit’ taking place at Petroc

in Barnstaple on Wednesday

6 March, featuring Kevin

Shakespeare of the Institute

of Export and International

Trade who is a University of

Plymouth lecturer.

By engaging with this

project, businesses in North

Devon will have an opportunity

not only to access free

training but also to have an

influence on how colleges

and universities can support

them in the future.

Wills Property Trusts (in will)

Children’s Trusts (in will) Funeral Plans

Probate Lasting Powers of Attorney

Wills: £70 Single / £105 Joint

@businessactionm | February / March 2019 | business action 13

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