Umbrella Training has today announced two new initiatives that strengthen its commitment to helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
The company has signed a new agreement with the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) to support its Reskilling the Recovery campaign. Separately, Umbrella has also announced that it is launching a new nationwide SME Survival Toolkit.
The Reskilling the Recovery campaign is designed to encourage London’s large employers to pledge unspent apprenticeship levy funds to support the recovery of SMEs from the Covid-19 crisis.
All businesses across the City have been affected by Covid-19, with SMEs among the worst hit.
By pledging unspent apprenticeship levy funds to Reskilling the Recovery, large businesses can cover the costs of apprenticeship training for SMEs, enabling them to take on and train new staff or upskill existing team members for the challenge ahead.
As part of the agreement, and as one of LPC’s training providers, Umbrella will identify and support SMEs looking to develop their people strategies. Once identified, the Umbrella team will source apprentices and develop tailored apprenticeship programmes for each business.
To date, LPC has secured more than £1 million pledged by levy paying employers to utilise as levy transfers to SMEs.
Alongside this, Umbrella is launching a new SME Survival Toolkit that will help small/medium-sized businesses and their leaders navigate their way through the Covid-19 enforced challenges by utilising government funding available to them.
The toolkit will also enable SMEs to have fully funded consultancy sessions to explore how to build a people development strategy and fully fund these through levy transfers and grants. The sessions will also see Umbrella offer guidance to SMEs on how to execute their people development strategies through meaningful apprenticeship programmes.
Guidance to support SME leaders on how to reopen their premises safely, how to train and support their team members in these uncertain times, and how to build transferable skills that are needed now that budgets for job specialists have been cut, is also featured in the toolkit.
In addition, it will offer practical tips from successful leaders in the industry, a ‘how to’ section and a list of helpful links.
The move follows Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s further recent commitment to young people, where he pledged additional funding for apprenticeships. As part of the announcement, he reiterated the message that apprenticeships are a long-term and viable solution for business by stating that 96% of those who complete programmes stay with their employers.
Jo Simovic, COO, Umbrella Training, said: “We are delighted to announce these two developments at such a crucial time for the industry.
“By working with the LPC, we are pleased to be able to offer SMEs meaningful apprenticeships programmes that have been fully funded.
“Continued investment in people isn’t just a short-term fix; it’s a long-term commitment that can ensure the sustainable development of businesses and the sector as a whole.
“We are also very pleased to be launching our SME Survival Toolkit at the same time. Leaders in hospitality SMEs are expected to be more creative, more efficient and take on more responsibilities that historically were outsourced.
“Our SME Survival Toolkit will help them navigate through government guidelines and funding options, which can be incredibly time-consuming and challenging. We hope we can alleviate some of these pressures by offering guidance and advice that will enable SMEs to succeed during these difficult times.
Rob Singh, hospitality lead at The London Progression Collaboration, added: “We are delighted to have Umbrella onboard as one of our training provider partners and look forward to helping SMEs working with Umbrella to fund their apprenticeship training.
“Umbrella really understand the needs of small hospitality businesses and their support will have great impact on hospitality businesses in the capital and improve their workers’ prospects.”