Navigating your way back to normality – with Swatpro Academy’s help
The roadmap has been unfurled – and the South West’s companies are getting prepared to take the journey back to normal business.
In particular, the badly hit regional hospitality sector will welcome the commitment to re-opening business (with some restrictions) in April, dependent on the vaccine programme taking the pressure off hospitals.
Nationwide, 2020 was the worst year ever for UK hospitality businesses, with an estimated £72bn in potential revenue lost.
It’s a statistic that hits the South West, with its vibrant tourist industry, harder than many areas.
The full timetable is available on government websites, but in essence it begins with an opening of outdoor hospitality venues and all retail businesses on or after April 12th, with the resumption of UK holidays from that date also.
On or after May 17th, indoor hospitality venues can open (subject to the “rule of six” as applied last autumn); and it is hoped by June 21st all Covid regulations within the UK will be able to be relaxed.
Business leaders in the region have welcomed the clarity the road map brings, although a number are also calling on the government to announce extra support for the months still to come, such as VAT, business rates and Covid support loan repayment deferrals and an extension on the furlough scheme.
For businesses gearing up to take on new staff to meet reopening dates, one important scheme has already been extended.
Until the end of March, employers taking on a new apprentice will be able to claim between £1,500 and £2,000 (depending on the age of the trainee) in cash.
The payment is available for apprentices of all skill levels, so training experienced workers to Apprentice Standards Level 3, 4 or above qualifies, in the same way as employing a school leaver does.
This money comes without “strings” and is unaffected by any other help the business may be getting.
As the market slowly recovers, getting the best-trained, most flexible staff will give employers a crucial advantage over the competition.
Swatpro Academy, as ever, is here to help with this challenge – and guide you through what help you can get for recruiting and upskilling staff.Just lift up the phone to us or drop us an email, to hear how our individually tailored training programmes can benefit you.