Training Grants For Small Business - An Introduction | Checkatrade
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Training grants for small business

Tradespeople thrive by offering customers the best expertise. This article checks out some of the skills-boosting training grants for small businesses.

Trade businesses can make major strides in winning more work by taking advantage of training grants. When budgets are tight, training funding for small businesses can make a big difference.

However, the more skilled you are, the more you can charge for your work. You can also probably take on more challenging jobs. Whatever stage you are in your trade career, you can always learn more.

Training funding for small business aims to make the UK economy stronger. Much of the funding options are therefore backed to a degree by the government.

There is a growing need for skilled tradespeople in the UK. Grants exist to help training to reduce this gap.

Grants help you grow

There are plenty of places to look for grants for business training. Start by deciding exactly what type of training you need and why. Then you can narrow down your search for training funding.

You could also think more broadly about your training requirements. Look beyond your core trade skills. There are probably general business skills that can improve your efficiency and profitability.

Gas Training with Options Skills

Difference between grants and loans

A grant is usually given to you for free. Bear in mind, though, that grants often won’t cover all of the training costs.

On the other hand, loans for training need to be repaid. The cost is typically spread over a specified period.

One example is the government’s Start Up Loan scheme. It offers loans from £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business. It’s an unsecured personal loan, so requires a credit check. This type of loan could go towards your training.

Do your research

Before applying for a training grant do your homework. There could be competition for grant funding so you need to be prepared. However, you will need to complete a grant application first.

A business plan is always a solid basis to make the case for financial support. You can show grant providers the positive difference training will have on your business.

Regional support

A lot of training funding for small business is given at a regional level. You’ll find organisations across the UK that offer training support.

The 36 Local Enterprise Partnerships provide training options. This could include grant funding in areas like digital skills, apprenticeships and other support.

A wide range of government-backed training grant providers cover many different trade skills.

how to start a plumbing business

Checkatrade partnerships

Checkatrade’s partners give our members access to valuable trade skills training.

Our training partners can offer discounted products, services and help provide access to funding on training courses such as:

  • Gas engineering
  • Heating
  • Electricians, including renewable energy
  • Plumbers
  • Bricklayers
  • Joiners
  • Drylining
  • Painting and decorating

What are the training grants for small business?

Government grants

A good place to look for what training grants for small business are available is The Grants Hub. It can also help with grant applications.

Green energy training

Many trade businesses are getting to grips with new equipment and standards linked to carbon-cutting initiatives. One of these is low-carbon heating.

The government is providing grants to train thousands of specialists to work with energy-efficient heating systems like heat pumps.

Digital skills training

Tradespeople increasingly need to be tech-savvy. Technology is changing not only how we work but also how businesses are run. Using technology for video quotes for jobs is a great example.

The government’s Digital Skills Partnership offers free digital skills training and support.

electrical safety check in progress

Construction sector training grants

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) helps businesses train their staff. It offers grants of up to £10,000 to CITB-registered members. A good benefit here is that you can tailor a training programme to meet your specific needs.

CITB’s training includes grants for short courses. These start at three hours and go up to 29 days. The focus is on gaining core construction industry skills.

Engineering sector training grants

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) offers employers grants to subsidise the costs of training their workforce. This includes training new employees, safety training, and learning craft and technician skills.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeship training is helping to plug a trade skills gap. Services such as About Apprenticeships combine studying and on-the-job training for people aged over 16, specifically with a focus on trade skills.

If you take on an apprentice you have to pay them the minimum wage. You also contributed 5% towards their training and assessment costs.

Here are some interesting statistics on apprenticeships:

  • 86% of employers said they helped apprentices develop the right skills for their business
  • 78% of employers said apprentices help them improve productivity
  • 74% of employers said apprentices help them improve the quality of their service

Traineeships are often seen as a stepping stone to an apprenticeship. The scheme is free for businesses.

plasterer apprenticeship

Free training support

You need to apply for a grant and that takes time. Your grant application might not always be successful. Another training avenue to explore is free support.

Getting something for free is not exactly the same as a grant. But it provides valuable training opportunities at no cost. Many free support schemes are offered regionally.

There are plenty of interesting choices that could help boost trade business profits. Improving your skills when bidding for work is available from the government. It’s aimed at businesses bidding to win work on large-scale contracts.

Plenty of small businesses get involved in big projects. Now might be the right time to hone your bidding skills as part of your growth plans.

Another government-backed source of free training can help your staff improve essential skills like English and maths.


What’s the difference between training grants for small business and loans for training?

Grants are free although they might not cover all the training costs. Loans have to be repaid.

What grants for business training are there?

There’s a very wide choice of training funding for small businesses. Start by identifying what training gap you need to fill. Find a suitable training programme that offers a grant or free support. Then make sure you give a strong case in your grant application.

What are the benefits of training funding for small business?

Improving existing skills and taking on new skills helps tradespeople to win more business and increase their profits.

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Content disclaimer: This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer here.

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