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Securing skills needed for business continuity

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

This page was updated on 5 November 2021.  

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

To ensure resilience if you are operating with less staff at times, 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, Lancashire and Sheffield 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 October 2021 to 31 January 2022 will also be able to apply for a one-off payment of £3,000 from 11 January 2022. Applications for this period will close on 15 May 2022. More information on the incentive payment is available on the government website, here

If you need to increase staff numbers

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

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
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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