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Does your business have the budget for training?

Published on Thursday, 28th June 2018, contributed by Skills West

Your team is the key to productivity and business growth, yet here in the West of England our low unemployment rate means that it is often a struggle to recruit the skill-sets required to fulfil a creative or digital remit.

According to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, skills shortages are one of the most frequently reported barriers to business growth. This is backed by results from Business West’s 2017 Business Skills and Training Survey which reports that just 33% of businesses in the creative and digital sector have a budget for training, yet the top five most important skills needed were communication (oral and written), problem solving, team working, project management and customer service – all of which require an appropriate level of training.

“The skills shortage is prevalent across the country and this, coupled with our low unemployment rate in the West of England, can mean businesses really struggle to recruit the right staff for now and in the future,” explains Carole Sartain, Creative and Digital Skills Adviser at Business West. “We need to make sure businesses understand all of the recruitment and training options available to them and make an effort to work with education providers to ensure future training provision is relevant to their needs.”

Taking on an apprentice can be a great solution to help plug the skills gap in your media, marketing or design business because they can bring in fresh ideas and skills that other team members may not have. However, with over 50% of businesses claiming they had no knowledge of the Apprenticeship Levy and a further 81% saying they had never used an apprentice in their business, work still needs to be done in educating businesses about the support and options available.

To help, Business West has launched their 2018 Business Skills and Training Survey which will enable education providers and key decision makers to ensure that training provision in this sector, and the region, is relevant to business needs. The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and is open to businesses of all shapes and sizes in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Visit this link to complete online:

Our skills advisers can help to identify and tackle skills gaps in your business. To book in some time with Carole, please email or call 0330 124 4446.

Skills West, a programme delivered by Business West, provides impartial skills advice to businesses across the West of England. A team of Business Skills Advisers can offer advice on a range of topics from apprenticeships and funding to where to find the most relevant training for your staff. If you would like to know more please visit:

Skills West is delivered by Business West for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, funded through the European Social Fund and Education & Skills Funding Agency.