Recently I was talking to someone who had started up a new estate agency just weeks before the first lockdown. Thanks to a lot of hard work, they’ve had a very successful first year, despite everything. So, are they sitting back and resting on their laurels? Not a bit of it, they’re aiming to make their business even better by investing in new training for their team.
It struck me that this is exactly the right approach for any business as we cautiously start to unlock the economy and it will also be right for individuals who may be facing redundancy when furlough comes to an end or employees who want to develop a new skill to help them progress from their existing roles.
The good news is there is a wide range of potential sources of help. Our two universities, Bath College and the Council have been working together to provide the necessary services.
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative I’ve been involved in conversations to help with some suggestions about what will be needed and one of the elements I stressed was the need for flexibility - not everyone can make a long-term commitment to a long course.
That message has been well and truly understood and it’s brilliant to see how our educators are working out new ways of delivering training, developing short, sharp courses to fit in with modern needs. There’s also a marvellous spirit of co-operation between the institutions, which says a lot about the open mindedness of their leadership who are prepared to challenge traditional assumptions.
The name of the game is partnership working, so it might be possible for courses to be created in which people are taught in more than one of the institutions, making the most of the broad range of know how that is available locally. A great source of information is available at achieveinbathnes.co.uk.
Businesses are certain to change the way they have operated in the past so staff will almost certainly be asked to work in different ways. That might mean additional training is needed so the workforce is able to react to the new circumstances. Unfortunately there will be casualties and people will suffer redundancy, but with the availability of a host of training opportunities they can face the future with optimism, preparing themselves with the necessary skills for a bright future.