In uncertain times it may feel counterproductive to spend time and money upskilling an established team. In actual fact, investing in your team right now by upskilling is one of the best things you can do for your business. Especially when a huge variety of diverse skill development opportunities are available FULLY FUNDED through SMART SKILLS and our partners.

Thanks to £3.5million of funding from the European Social Fund that focuses on identifying and promoting key regional skills and industry sectors, we are able to offer a wide range of courses via our experienced training providers across the Southwest. Discover some of the courses on offer right here.

What is upskilling?

Upskilling is the process of offering new and existing staff training opportunities to develop or enhance their role. It can also help to prepare team members for new positions within the company or add a completely new set of skills into your organisation.

Offering the chance to upskill or refresh existing knowledge has a huge beneficial effect company wide. It can boost staff confidence, communication between teams and departments and it allows you as an employer to create the workforce you need by investing in and developing the people who already know your business well.

Why Does It Matter?

If you don’t invest in your staff members then someone else will. The job market is highly competitive and prospective employees are looking for companies who show that their workforce is valued.

By investing in your team you can future proof your business and also guard against valued staff exploring opportunities elsewhere. Offering on-going skill development opportunities to new and existing staff will cement your reputation as a forward-thinking business that invests time and energy into its personnel.

Evidence shows that upskilling your team provides benefits across the board, from morale and efficiency to better customer services and output.

Like the Laws of Success and the Pillars of Wisdom, there are seven key benefits to upskilling your team. Below we’ve explored each one so that you can see the potential positive impact on your organisation.


Upskilling will save you money. It’s a fact. The cost of replacing employees and training new staff is both expensive and time consuming. Other team members are often re-deployed to cover vacancies leading to company-wide inefficiencies. It can often cost the full salary of a role to locate, interview and recruit the right candidate for the position.

By upskilling you are clearly communicating a willingness to invest time and energy into your team. It is a proven way of cost effectively enhancing the staff you have as well as preventing team members looking for better roles and opportunities with other companies.


Upskilling enhances productivity. It allows teams to keep up with advances in technology and sector specific developments making sure your business remains at the cutting edge.

Employees who have undertaken skill development courses are more engaged, confident and productive and happier to invest their energy in building the business.

Better productivity naturally leads to more collaboration, less stress in the workplace and efficiencies spreading throughout the organisation.


Ongoing and well-planned investment in your team through upskilling yields far reaching results. Not least of these is your reputation as an organisation that values its staff and invests in their personal and professional development.

If you are struggling to attract the right candidates for roles, then upskilling your current team is the answer. Enhancing your reputation as an employer who spends time and money to make sure every staff member has the best skills and knowledge for the job, means that the right people will start to seek you out as a prospective place of work.

Content and confident employees are your best and most vocal ambassadors. Make sure that people only have great things to say about working within your organisation and the rest is easy.


New staff offer the best perspective of your company. They can highlight practices or processes that are entrenched but could be better or more efficient, they are enthusiastic and they want to establish themselves as a key part of the team.

You can retain this high energy and focus through ongoing and progressive upskilling. By consistently improving the skills and abilities of your team you are allowing them to develop themselves, giving them a chance to explore new innovations and ideas and keeping the metaphorical door open so that they can bring back those fresh perspectives into your workplace.

Providing learning options through courses and apprenticeships you can help your team maintain their focus, because they have all the latest training and knowledge to do their job well.


One of the key reasons that employees move on to new roles in other businesses? Lack of development and no clear pathway for moving forward in their current position.

You’ve spent time and money assembling the team you have. You have processes in place that work and you have a growing client base. Make sure that you retain that forward momentum and keep the team that works and knows your organisation by investing in their development.

Show each staff member what their potential and their future looks like by crafting a bespoke programme that gradually builds their skillset and in turn provides a positive result for your company.


Over the past few years, organisations of all sizes and across all business sectors and industries have faced enormous challenges and complexities.
An example of just one of those challenges has been staff required to step into new roles, cover workloads and ‘perform-up’ into positions that they have no previous training in or knowledge of.

Upskilling can’t prepare you and your business for every single eventuality, but it can provide your team with confidence to better adapt and manage bumps in the road and the ability to pivot quickly to incorporate changes in working practices and customer demands.


There is a misconception that upskilling only covers technical skills, practical applications of new techniques and new software or hardware know-how.
Soft skills like better communication and client/staff management are an essential part of a successful business and also fall under the upskilling umbrella.

Our training providers offer a range of courses that include Communication, Management and general Business skills that will help your team and your company to achieve more.

At SMART SKILLS we can find solutions, courses and training providers to match your unique business needs and your aspirations for the future.

Find out more about what we do here or get in touch to speak with one of our expert (and fully upskilled!) team members.