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Skills Minister has message on Train to Gain for small business managers.

Small business managers should resolve to make 2008 a year to improve their leadership skills and boost their competitiveness, John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has said.

Mr Denham made his call for action to highlight how small businesses can take advantage of a huge expansion of Government funded training which will come on stream later in the New Year.

Funding for tailor-made management and leadership training provided through the Government’s “Train to Gain” service is rising from £4million to £30million a year for next three years.

Mr Denham said: “Small business managers are the backbone of our economy, making an immense contribution to innovation, boosting regional competitiveness and bringing opportunity and enterprise to local communities.

“To really succeed in an increasingly competitive climate, every small business manager needs to get the best from their employees. Despite the time pressures they face, no small business manager can afford to cut corners on training ““ either for their employees, or themselves.

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“This is why I have made the provision of leadership and management training, tailored to the individual needs of each business, a priority for 2008. Since its launch in 2006, Train to Gain has helped more than 52,000 employers and enabled over 240,000 employees to undertake training. If you manage a small business, I urge you to join in this fantastic work and make your business a winner in the New Year.”

From 2008, the overall Train to Gain budget will double to over £1billion in 2010/11 ensuring that skills training is available for employees in every company in the country. The increases in funding for management training for small and medium-sized enterprises (those between 10 and 249 employees) will support managers in around 42,000 companies over the next three years.

Skills Minister David Lammy, said: “Services aimed at small businesses only work if they are flexible enough to be used when and where employers want them. In expanding Train to Gain, we”ve listened closely to the business community to ensure we”ve met their needs – in particular in designing the enhanced management training service.

“I hope that employers will respond by making full use of the opportunity to improve their staff leadership credentials, and to get their staff trained up to deliver real growth in 2008″.

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