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NFB Urges Sector to Take Advantage of ‘Help to Grow’

On 28th April 2022, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Kwasi Kwarteng MP, sent out a letter to business leaders outlining their plan to ensure that small and medium sized businesses in all parts of the UK are supported to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as helping them drive innovation, growth, and job creation.

In order to achieve these goals and help our members to build prosperous businesses, boost productivity, and drive growth, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) is spreading the word and encouraging members to find out more about the opportunities provided by the Government’s two Help to Grow business support programmes – Help to Grow: Management and Help to Grow: Digital.

The Help to Grow: Management programme has been providing 90% subsidised management and leadership training from UK business schools since July 2021. This is aimed at business leaders to help them learn new skills and boost profits. The programme will give 30,000 SMEs access to world-class business expertise on everything from financial management to marketing. Management in any business will always be a learning curve, regardless of experience or knowledge, therefore training and development to management practices is extremely valuable to any business in any industry, and has proved to result in greater confidence, productivity, and better expectations of growth. Whilst other sectors have taken great leaps t in terms of productivity, the construction industry appears, comparatively, to be stuck in the past; the average productivity levels in the industry have remained consistently below the UK average. The construction industry is one of the major pillars in the UK economy, contributing up to 10% of GDP, so it is more important than ever that businesses are actively looking to advance management skills by participating in programmes like these, to help the industry catch up with levels of productivity.

Launched in January 2022 as a second offering from Government, the Help to Grow: Digital programme entails an online hub that offers free advice on what tech will best help SMEs save time and money and help them grow their businesses. Eligible SMEs will also be offered the chance to apply for vouchers worth up to £5,000 towards the purchase of new productivity-enhancing software. According to Digital Builder construction blog, 70% of contractors believe that advanced technologies can increase productivity in the construction industry. With that in mind it is not unreasonable to wager that this scheme could be very beneficial in helping members becoming more innovative, competitive, and profitable, by using digital technology to improve business productivity as well as modernising practices within the workplace.

– Mia Silverfield, NFB Political Communications apprentice

Both Help to Grow programmes are accessible to businesses with 5-249 employees. The NFB strongly encourages members to take advantage of this opportunity. You can find out more information about the schemes via the Government’s website at https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk/.

If you have any questions or want to find out more, you can contact your account managers on 03450 578 160 or email membershipservices@builders.org.uk

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