Roseanna Cunningham launches free service to help small businesses in Glasgow develop the skills of their staff

A major new initiative, designed to help unlock small business productivity and growth in Glasgow through the provision of quality HR and skills development support, is being unveiled today by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training.

The People Skills programme has been developed by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, with support from J.P. Morgan through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow City Council in order to support local businesses in Glasgow with practical people management advice. It is one of three projects being launched in the UK and will be officially unveiled today to local businesses in Glasgow at an event held at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Castle Street, Glasgow.

The twelve month research programme is being delivered in close collaboration with local partners in each of the three project areas – Glasgow, Stoke-on-Trent and Hackney in East London – and will be embedded into their existing local business, skills and employment infrastructure to ensure easy access for local businesses. Over the course of the twelve month project, the People Skills programme will be available at no cost to small businesses (SMEs), and will equip them with a range of bespoke HR support including:

  • 1-2-1 guidance from experienced HR professionals who will work alongside businesses
  • A telephone helpline to discuss employment and skills issues
  • Online information and practical templates to help businesses save time when developing new employment processes
  • Local networking and group training events delivered on related people management and skills development topics.

The research programme aims to support SMEs in building their leadership and management/HR capability in order to help them utilise the skills of their employees more effectively. It will also encourage SMEs to invest in young people through work experience and apprenticeships, investment in training and building links with local schools and colleges.Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, Roseanna Cunningham says:  “I’m delighted to launch the People Skills programme in Glasgow. Small businesses are a major source of employment in the city and it’s important that they can access the right support to help their people and their business develop."The Scottish Government remains committed to our Modern Apprenticeship programme and it’s encouraging to see that a key aspect of this programme is helping small businesses understand how they can take on apprentices and help young people in the community get the opportunities and training they need to get in and advance at work.”Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy, Glasgow City Council, comments: “Small businesses in Glasgow are at the heart of the city’s prosperity for today and the future. It’s so important that smaller businesses can access the advice they need to build the potential of their business and of their people. People Skills will do exactly that, and will sit within the council’s existing infrastructure for small businesses making it easy for business-owners to access. Investing in people is the biggest opportunity for any small business, and this scheme gives Glasgow businesses a unique advantage in this critical area.  We’re very excited to be involved in this research programme and learning about the benefits that it will bring to both local businesses and the people they employ.”Dr John McGurk, Head of CIPD Scotland, comments: “Scotland’s skilled future is dependent upon having viable and successful SMEs. To grow and prosper these vital businesses need to access professional people management and development advice. Through our research partnership with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Glasgow City Council, we’re delighted to offer that expertise to help SMEs in Scotland to grow and prosper with the right people skills. The puzzle of the UK’s stagnant productivity performance has many components, but one crucial aspect that needs to be examined is how to help the UK’s small businesses raise their ambitions, boost their investment in people and make better use of skills in the workplace. Our People Skills programme is designed to help address this challenge head on, providing support where it’s needed to boost people management capability and ultimately performance and growth potential.”

Hang Ho, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for JPMorgan Chase Foundation, comments: “One of the biggest challenges for policy makers today is how to encourage SMEs to invest more in young people to access talent. But just as importantly, if SMEs are to become more productive and grow, they need to make the most of their existing workforce through better people management and development. Therefore, we are delighted to support the People Skills programme and look forward to partnering with the CIPD and other stakeholders to add to the thriving ecology of business support to enable SMEs to raise their game, to grow and get the most out of their people.”


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