Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are deriving real benefit from training at UK colleges, enabling them to improve productivity and develop skills in an affordable, flexible way, according to the Association of Colleges](http://www.aoc.co.uk/) (AoC).
A survey by AoC revealed that colleges were able to deliver 70% of training at employers' own workplaces and that hospitality, catering and tourism were among the top five sectors to benefit from college training.
London-based education caterer Wilson Jones said that it saw business lifts of 15% over three years by enhancing its delivery following a staff training programme provided by Lewisham College.
Managing director Stephanie Spratt said: "We have benefitted hugely from training our staff through Lewisham College. By building up our team's core skills we are delivering on our ethos to create innovative, healthy menus which really appeal to children and this has helped us to develop and boost our business, despite the recent difficult economic conditions."
Number of employees of businesses trained by college respondents:
â- 31% of businesses trained by colleges have 11-100 employees
â- 13% of businesses trained by colleges have 101-299 employees
â- 3% of businesses trained by colleges have more than 500 employees
By Janie Stamford
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