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‘Owning it’ - Employer Ownership from an SME perspective

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Employer ownership, Investment

It’s the leaders of small businesses that ultimately will drive economic success. Our ambitions, and the ambitions we have for our workforce, will drive growth and create opportunities for many more people.

The Albatross Group is made up of 6 small and medium sized tourism businesses, established in the UK in 1985. We currently handle the travel arrangements for over 5,000 leisure groups every year throughout the UK and Western Europe. At Albatross, the capability and skills of our workforce have  been fundamental to how we have survived in the downturn and continued to take market share.

The decisions we make about investing in skills and training are driven primarily by the needs of the business now and in the future. They are investments based on business priorities and opportunities we can see to grow and improve. It works because the skills and capability of my workforce is the basis of our financial sustainability over the long term. Investing in our people is just as important, if not more, than the investments we make in our infrastructure, IT and buildings. The training we buy must fit our current and future needs.

This is why I believe giving employers the space to really own the skills agenda is about giving them the incentive to place skills as a key driver of business performance – firmly where it should be. Small businesses, more than ever, now rely on the talents of their people to get ahead. Government needs to support these small and medium sized organisations and give them the space to flourish.

The more we can shout about the impact skills investment has on our bottom line, the more business will listen, and the more individuals we can support into and on in work.

Stronger Employer Ownership of skills has the potential to create this ‘must have’ culture amongst employers – making skills investment the essential component of any great business plan.

If you would like more information on the Employer Ownership Pilot please visit the relevant page on our website or register your interest by emailing

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Matt Smallwood posted on

    I agree with Sean that employers should own the skills agenda so that it is driven by the need for growth amongst SME's, as these make up a large percentage of our local economy. However, I would hope that they would allows us (secondary educators) to be part of that process, so that it may inform and mould our curriculum to ensure the empoyees of the future come out of school with the appropiate skills need to enter the workplace. Having once owned a small Engineering Company myself and the realisation of tight budgets to invest in growth of the company, wouldn't it be more prudent to nurture young talent through their education, than having to send them back to education once they enter the world of work?


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