Campaign to alter British businesses

For the first time, fully funded training is available to all businesses, from start-ups to FTSE100 giants. But the money is only there for a year.

Today, some of the biggest names in Basic Skills provision (see list below) launch a major national campaign, For Business, For Life, to urge employers to make use of free opportunities to upskill their employees in the crucial areas of literacy and numeracy.

Together, as the National Consortium of Colleges and Providers (NCCP), they are reaching out to business leaders in every sector to tell them about the advantages of their employees receiving training in English and maths. In addition to acquiring more confident and ambitious workers, the vast majority will receive government funding for the training. It will cost them nothing.

For the first time, funding is now available for all businesses, from start-ups to FTSE100 giants, to bring English and maths into the workplace at no cost to themselves. And for small businesses, there is a cash incentive to improve their employees’ skills (see funding details, below).

NCCP Chairman Harvey Young says: ‘It’s fantastic there’s so much government and media focus on apprenticeships, which are about getting young people into work. But we want to see more attention given to those already in employment who may not be work ready, and whose lack of confidence in the key areas of English and maths is holding them – and their employers – back.

“As providers, we have seen first hand the transformative effect of improved Basic Skills on employees of all ages. Some may have slipped through the net at school, but so many have simply forgotten what they have learnt. Our experience is that the vast majority of those in the workplace benefit from Basic Skills training – not just those who are aware that their English and maths are not up to scratch.”

For Skills, For Life believes that businesses in every sector of the British economy simply can’t afford the every-day errors and reputational damage that workers with sub-standard literacy and numeracy can do: the multiplication slip that puts a spanner in this month’s sales figures, or the recruitment advertisement seen by thousands of potential customers which contains incorrect grammar or spelling.

How the funding works

Basic Skills training is fully funded via the EU’s European Social Fund. And small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) receive £800 per learner for the first three learners that complete Basic Skills English or maths training, £400 at the start of the training and £400 when completed.