Monday 22 July 2013
A recent series of seminars aimed at assisting Guernsey's small business sector has been voted a success after very high attendances and positive ratings from delegates.
The Business Skills Programme which was organised by the Commerce and Employment Department tackled seven key areas of business and had more than 500 attendees over the seven breakfast sessions.
The Minister for Commerce and Employment, Deputy Kevin Stewart said:
"Obviously we are delighted with the numbers attending, but just as positive is the feedback we received from the delegates."
All delegates were asked to provide comments on the series through a short online questionnaire and a focus group session was also held to better understand the issues.
Deputy Stewart added:
"One of the key things we wanted to achieve was providing something of use and relevance to the small business sector. So it was very encouraging that the vast majority of our respondents said they were very likely or extremely likely to use the knowledge gained from the seminars to help their businesses. It shows the topics were relevant and that the presenters conveyed their subjects in a helpful and accessible way."
The sessions covered subjects that all businesses need to understand, with the approach being to provide an introduction to each topic, delivered by two experts in that particular field. The subjects covered were:
- Raising finance and managing money
- Staff issues including hiring and firing
- Skills and training
- Sales and marketing
- Customer service
- Information and Communication Technology
Dr Elaine Monkhouse, the Chair of the Skills Guernsey Implementation Group, said:
"The strong ratings given by delegates is of course very positive and also shows how relevant training is, whatever the size of the business. I'm very pleased that the programme has been well supported: it indicates an appetite to learn and improve and an absence of complacency."
One of the reasons that Guernsey's small business community was chosen was that it could cover all parts of the Guernsey economy. That was borne out by the attendance profile of delegates who came from a wide variety of business sectors.
Guernsey has more than 1,500 businesses that each employ ten people or fewer, representing 73% of all Guernsey businesses.
Skills Guernsey is a joint initiative by the Commerce and Employment, Education and Social Security Departments, which was launched to deliver the Island's Skills Strategy.