This month sees National Apprenticeship Week, highlighting the many benefits of hiring an apprentice, both to the apprentice themselves and to you and your business. However, according to SEMLEP’s 2021 Business Survey the number of organisations surveyed employing apprentices has dropped from 12% in 2019 to just 7%.
The pandemic is at least partly responsible for this reduction, but as we continue to recover, many businesses are once again looking to grow their businesses and expand their workforce. Apprenticeships can contribute to this, allowing businesses to develop their own talent, shaping training to perfectly match skills requirements, ensuring staff retention with some financial support as a company grows.
If you are one of the companies currently looking to grow, then this is the perfect time to participate in the Growth Curve programme.
Become the best place to work
By joining the Growth Curve Programme you will gain the opportunity to discuss your business, its challenges, and your aspirations for the future with one of SEMLEP’s High Growth Business Advisers, before going on to attend a university masterclass.
This masterclass consists of a series of intensive, interactive sessions that will focus on developing and honing your leadership and business management skills. These sessions will cover a wide range of topics, which could include sales, marketing, human resources and operational efficiency.
The programme is designed to help you learn how to take a step back and look at your business from different angles. This will provide you with new insights into the challenges your business faces and allow you to see how other organisations are overcoming similar hurdles. You will learn new ways of working to better lead yourself and your team and develop an action plan to address the most urgent and important issues facing your business. It also gives you an invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded people who can be a source of motivation, support and guidance.
You will also be eligible to apply for grant funding, and one of the requirements for this is the creation of full-time roles within your organisation, helping your business to grow, expand and acquire the people and skills your organisation needs.
In addition to this, once you have completed the programme you will continue to get ongoing support, as well as access to a network of fellow Growth Curve alumni. Finally, as part of Growth Curve, you will also be notified of future grant funding for which you may be eligible, such as Recovery and Resilience Grants and Additional Restrictions Grants.
Growth Curve is run by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, Cranfield University and the University of Northampton, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
In order to be eligible to apply to join the Growth Curve programme, your company must be an SME (maximum turnover of €50m or annual balance sheet of €43m) based in the South East Midlands, have between three and 250 employees, and prior to the pandemic have had annual turnover of £200,000, and been experiencing or projecting high growth for two to three years.
For more information, and to see if your company is eligible, click here to visit the SEMLEP Growth Hub website.