What is upskilling and why is it relevant to my business?

Upskilling your workforce is one of the most valuable and productive things you can do to improve your business.

But let’s be honest, it can feel overwhelming. Choosing from multiple providers offering a myriad of different courses, arranging cover for staff while they train and all the while trying to run a company and respond efficiently to clients and customers.

Trust us when we say, it’s not as complicated as you think.

In this article we’ll explore the ways in which upskilling can improve your business, create a positive mindset within your team and help you to be proactive about future plans for your company.

Most importantly we’ll let you know how you can access free training that works intuitively with your needs.

It needn’t be scary, laborious or expensive and the time you dedicate to upskilling your employees could well become the most important investment you make in your business.

What is upskilling?

Essentially, upskilling is the process of identifying current skills gaps within your company and workforce and implementing the relevant training, coaching or mentoring to fill those gaps.

This approach, tailored to your specific needs, provides you with a more confident and able team, enhanced work-flows, better strategic planning and improved outcomes on your business goals.

Upskilling courses cover a very broad range of topics, requirements and abilities. From hard skills and qualifications like those in manufacturing, production and marketing through to soft skills including leadership and mentoring, conflict resolution, effective communication and team building.

The first step is to identify the needs within your business. A simple and quick way to do this is to complete the form here and let us know a little bit about your company and what your goals are going forward. An experienced Business Skills Adviser from the SMART SKILLS Hub will then be able to arrange a time to speak with you in more detail, visit your office, site or factory and make recommendations tailored to your business, current employees and future plans.

Why is it important to upskill?

Identifying areas for improvement within your teams and workflow and accessing training and guidance to upskill can have far reaching results across your organisation.

Upskilling can help you gain a positive advantage over your competitors, keep pace with innovation and evolution within your industry, future-proof your company to provide security and stability in uncertain times and create a happier, more productive and responsive workforce.

By upskilling you not only hand your employees a more comprehensive ‘tool-box’ with which to tackle the various elements of their individual role, you also let them know how much you value and support them.

Training and upskilling allows team members to keep existing skills up-to-date, acquire valuable new knowledge and can deliver vital industry insights to help your business innovate and stay ahead of the curve. It can also help you to forge partnerships with other individuals and organisations to evolve and improve what you do and how you do it.

Taking the first step to start upskilling your team will always be the hardest. At this point, the time it will take, the scale of need and the outcomes of training are all unknowns. Which is where a trained and experienced advisor, on hand to solve some of those initial concerns, can be so valuable.

We have worked with dozens of companies across a broad spectrum of industries and specialisms and can help and advise, troubleshoot any teething problems and set your business on the right training pathway.

How can I apply to upskill my team?

Funded by the European Social Fund, SMART SKILLS offers a wide range of fully funded training and skill development solutions. In collaboration with our partners and learning providers these courses have been designed to meet the needs of businesses in Devon with the aim of supporting and enhancing economic growth in the region.

It is an innovative approach that enables a geographic area to identify and develop its own competitive advantages and brings together local authorities, academia, businesses and communities.

The training provided is flexible and can be delivered both in-person and online. Varying from one day skill development workshops all the way through to full, academic qualifications our courses are designed to be accessible and targeted to the needs of organisations based in Devon.

After you complete an enquiry form a Skills Adviser will contact you to carry out a mini diagnostic session for your business. From this information a learning provider can be identified and a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) can begin.

After a course or workshop is delivered we ask employers and employees for feedback and stay in contact to be able to explore the outcomes and progression from the training given. In this way we can continually evolve and improve the range of courses and the provision offered.

Upskilling your workforce is something any business owner or leader can do, and it can be as in-depth or simple as suits your available time, team and needs.

It’s free and it could have a huge, positive impact on your organisation.

Drop us a line, fill in the form or give us a call to chat through some ideas and options.