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More training support for small businesses, says PM

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Business Link services are to form a vital part of supporting the development of employees in small businesses, according to an announcement from the Prime Minister this week.

Business Link staff will receive training to help provide advice and support on management and development issues specifically tailored to small businesses, working together with the incoming Learning and Skills Councils and learndirect to improve access to training for those who often struggle to release staff for formal training courses because of the cost involved in either replacing them or losing potential business as a result.

The plans are part of a new initiative, 'Think Small First', being put forward to help support small businesses in all aspects of their work. The government's Small Business Service, which combines expertise from a number of government departments, is responsible for overseeing the project. The Sunday Times reported this week that a national training centre is to be set up for 2,000 small business advisers, and that the Small Business Service is planning to put in place a set of standards of competence for advisers in April.

For further information contact the Small Business Service on 08456 045678. Copies of 'Think Small First' are available to download (using adobe acrobat) from the Small Business Service website.

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