Aston University launches productivity masterclasses for SMEs

Education | Midlands | Start-up

Aston University
Aston University is a new partner in a national series of productivity masterclasses tailored for small to medium-sized firms in a bid to tackle the UK’s productivity crisis.

The Productivity through People (PtP) programme, a key flagship national programme by Be the Business is aimed at SME owners and senior leaders who want to develop their leadership and management skills in order to improve the performance of their workforce and their business overall.

Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, said: “We know that investment in leadership and management training can boost productivity in SMEs by 22% and this this new national Productivity through People programme offers businesses in the Midlands an opportunity to participate for the first time.

“Designed by a partnership of leading private sector organisations and leading UK business schools, including Aston, this programme focuses on the development of leadership and management skills in a very practical way to have an immediate impact on the bottom line.”

Numerous studies have found that SMEs, which account for half of the UK’s turnover and employment, are hindered by several barriers to improved growth and productivity.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development recently argued that most SMEs required sustained external support to improve their management and development capabilities.

The programme is designed for SMEs with between 10 and 249 employees. It is aimed at individuals who can influence and shape the culture and strategy of the organisations that they are in.

There are 24 spaces available and the business can be from any industry sector. However, participants must have the authority to implement the required changes to improve the business’ performance. This strong focus on leadership has led to the programme being described by previous participants as a ‘practical mini MBA’ which can be applied directly to the business.

The benefits for the programme include: specialist coaching from highly experienced small and medium-sized enterprise experts and academics; and a support network of other SME owners and managers to build a more productive future together.

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