Leaving Lockdown – Identifying Skills Gaps & Resuming the Recovery
As we prepare to leave the UK’s third full nationwide lockdown, a little over a year on from the first, it is worth considering what lessons as businesses we can take with us.
There has been no overarching formula or clear set of instructions for how to successfully navigate these unprecedented times, but with three national lockdowns now complete, it is essential that we consider what difficulties we faced in running our organisations during these times.
Although we can certainly hope to never see another full lockdown on this scale again, with the emergence of new strains and regular fluctuations in reported cases of COVID-19, it would be unwise to rule out this possibility entirely. Therefore, identifying skills gaps and preparing for the unknown is essential. Even if we do not have another single lockdown, we should expect that the new ‘norm’ will not be where we were just over one year ago, pre-lockdown number one.
Part of accepting that things will change, is that many more of your potential customers will choose to seek you out online rather than by visiting your premises. The Office for National Statistics predicts that 20% more businesses will be run virtually than pre-pandemic. This means that having a high-quality and user-friendly website, efficient customer service, regularly updated social media and a strong overall online presence is more important than ever.
However, all of these assets take a great deal of time, energy and a level of expertise to execute properly, so to take all of this on yourself, would mean neglecting the other areas of your business operations. This is just one of the examples of a skills gap that many small organisations are realising that they have. It could be another area such as your overall management of IT, or perhaps you have an increase in the day-to-day administrative tasks as a result of the shift to online working. For the vast majority of skills gaps that businesses are facing, there is an affordable and effective solution.
Apprenticeships are being utilised increasingly by employers across the nation to address their skills gaps and aid their recovery from the pandemic. With the increased incentives and the wealth of information available about apprenticeships, it is clear why this is. According to a report from the Open University (Build the Future Apprenticeship Survey), 70% of the employers surveyed said that apprenticeships will be vital to their recovery from the disruption caused by COVID-19.
If any of these points have got you thinking about the possible skills gaps within your organisation, why not join the growing number of employers learning about the benefits of introducing apprenticeships into their workforce?
The Apprenticeship Hub are here to provide our expert advice on apprenticeships and skills training – from finding the right candidate, identifying skills gaps, selecting the appropriate course and supporting you in determining which incentives you are eligible for. As a completely free and impartial service, you really have nothing to lose and a huge amount to gain from speaking to a member of our team.
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