Access to learning is becoming a major pinch-point for businesses looking to pursue an upward growth trajectory. A third of UK small firms face skills shortages, according to a recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses and attempts to fill these gaps with training are frustrated by factors including the existing workload of employees, cost of training and lack of local availability.
Having the right skills and knowledge in place is consistently identified as one of the major success factors in business growth, but with more and more businesses becoming virtual, and with digital technology working its way into every corner of our lives, it comes even further to the fore: ‘as the very fabric of the economy changes around us, the need to invest in one’s own skills and the skills of others is more pressing than ever’.
According to OECD research, there is strong evidence to suggest that investing in the skills of the workforce is one of the most significant factors in achieving strong, inclusive and sustainable growth.
We might assume that technology had made things easier for small businesses to some extent: after all, anyone with an internet connection has (notional, at least) access to all the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. However there are indications that the digital revolution is making things even tougher for smaller companies, not easier.