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Coronavirus - Securing skills needed for business continuity

Developing and optimising your staff skillset will enable you to continue operating throughout the lockdown period and future proof your business.

This page was updated on 15 July 2021.  

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Businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic must have all the skills needed to provide their service offer in the short term and in the future. This will include developing skills amongst existing employees, as well as bringing in new skills.


Here is some advice to consider when reviewing your staff skillset:

If you have moved all your operations online

If you have changed the way you operate and moved all business activities online, our guide to remote working can help you and your employees. You can read the guide here.

If you have decreased human resource

During the outbreak, employers may have staff on the Job Retention Scheme, which can result in some gaps in necessary skills. To ensure resilience, aim to have three people trained up for each essential skill in your business. This creates a diversity of skills across your workforce. Additional guidance and support on multiskilling is available through our factsheet.

In Greater Manchester, we can offer training support through our funded Skills Support for the Workforce Programme. Training includes Awards (Up to 1 month with one day courses), Certifications (Up to 3 months with 1-3hrs per month) and Diplomas (Up to 6 months with 1-3 hrs per month).

Examples of training programmes by sector can be seen below: 

  • Health and Social Care. Examples: L2 Award in Dementia Awareness, L2 Award in End of Life Care, Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Medication Handling and Administration for Care Settings, Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care
  • Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. Examples: Level 2 Certificate in Lean Organisation Management Techniques, Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Business Improvement Techniques
  • Logistics and Warehousing. Example: Level 2 Certificate in Warehousing and Storage
  • Education and Training. Examples: Level 3 Award in Education and Training
  • Hospitality, Food and Drink. Examples: Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles
  • Management and Team Leading. Example: Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading
  • Retail and Customer Service. Examples: Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service, Level 2 Certificate in Retail Skills
  • Business Administration. Example: Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Business and Administration
  • Creative and Digital. Example: L2 Award in Digital Skills for the Workplace

We also have funded support for Leadership & Management development. Contact us to find out more here.

Additionally, at the Growth Company, we offer a wide range of apprenticeships programmes. More information can be found here.

  • Employers hiring an apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive a one-off payment of £3,000. More information on the incentive payment is available on the government website, here

During this time, it is important to consider what new skills you will require in the coming months as a way of recovery and growth. Under the Job Retention Scheme during hours which employees are recorded as being on furlough, they cannot do any work for their employer, however, these staff can still undertake training. To support furloughed staff, employers can access the National Careers Service to explore training, learning or volunteering opportunities available to upskill staff, whilst also providing wellbeing support.

If you need to increase staff numbers

Some businesses, including those in the service industry, that may be facing staff shortages due to self-isolation, can find the right talent using Employ GM, a service connecting individuals with businesses.



Visit our FAQs page for more Coronavirus Business related information

Coronavirus Business FAQs

Additional Resources

Skills for Growth – SME Support Skills for Growth – SME Support

Fully funded tailored service to help up-skill your employees and improve business productivity.

Read more
SWAP Employer guide SWAP Employer guide

Help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs through the Sector-based work academy programme (SWAP)

Read more
Kickstart Scheme  Kickstart Scheme

If you are looking to create jobs placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Read more
T Level Placements T Level Placements

Employers offering a T-level placement will receive a £1,000 incentive payment and gain early access to the brightest talent entering your market.

Read more

More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 237 4128 or email us at: 


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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