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Future-Proofing Your Training Business: Brexit

With the uncertainty of Brexit still looming on the horizon, many companies and organisations in the UK are left wondering how it will affect their business, and what they need to put in place to future-proof their company. This is no different in the training industry. While there are some things that are pretty dead-cert, there is not much certainty in the learning community as to how Brexit might affect, for instance, demand or funding for training.

With a former member of the central bank, Andrew Sentence warning that he “can see the UK being in this limbo-land for quite a while – certainly until the late 2020s”, what can you do as a training provider, to make sure your business is ‘future-proofed’?

While there is still a lot of ambiguity out there; there are also some great resources available for companies looking to plan for any possible Brexit outcome.

 Common Brexit Concerns And What You Can Do

What do we need to do to ensure we retain business relationships with training clients in other EU countries?

  • Selling physical products to the EU

While this won’t apply to many training companies, it may apply to you if you sell any physical products, such as training videos. HMRC’s advice, to businesses who trade within the EU, is to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number.

In the event of a “No deal” exit, businesses will be unable to continue trading physical products with the EU without an EORI number. And, so far HMRC figures show that just 17% of businesses have registered!

  • Travel to the EU

Any training providers that require travel in Europe, will need to be prepared for a no-deal exit. This includes things like: passports; health insurance; travel insurance; data roaming, and customs declarations among other things. Read Government guidance.

Will we be able to retain the funding we currently have (EU or non-EU)?

The government has guaranteed that charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding for projects, if they enter EU-funded programs before the end of 2020. This is good news in the short term, for trainers who rely on clients who receive funding for training. Find out more here.

What do I need to do for my EU citizen employees?

In most cases there will be no changes to workplace rights when the UK leaves the EU. However, In the event of a no-deal exit there would no longer being reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the EU, and EU nationals who are currently present in the UK are at risk of losing their rights to live and work in the UK.

Employers should take the small window of opportunity left, to look to the Government’s ‘Settled Status Scheme’ and whether it applies to any of their employees.

Are there any regulation changes that will affect my business day-to-day?

Depending on your business type and the services you provide, there is varying guidance from the Government. Most UK based training companies won’t experience much disruption in terms of regulation. As reiterated from the Government's guidelines: much of the legislation in place currently, is also protected under UK law and will continue to be so post-Brexit.

Will the uncertainty of Brexit stop clients investing in training?

Although there is little actual documentation on this re. Brexit; the concern comes from very real experiences training companies went through during the 2008 economic downturn.

Our friends at Learning Light, base a highly-effective training forecasting model “on the principle that overall training expenditure is a function of economic performance”, and as such we can assume that the first in the firing-line for cuts will be unessential internal training, such as soft-skills training

Having a plan in place for every eventuality is important for any business, and is even more imperative in the case of uncertainties such as Brexit.

4 Things You Can Do To Plan For The Post-Brexit Future Of Your Training Company:

1. Create a strategy for your company

The first step to doing this effectively, is to find out what Brexit means for you specifically. Use this .Gov tool to get the key pieces of information relevant to your training business.

2. Invest in efficiency

Freeing up time to focus on the important stuff can make the world of difference to a company’s ability to deal with change (whatever it may be). Upping your marketing game; minimising time spent on admin, and eliminating double-bookings and human error are all worth investing in, to ensure you can create and maintain training clients, now and in the future.

3. Go Digital

Despite a downturn in training procurement after 2008, the trend toward eLearning continued to grow, year-on-year. A couple of reasons for this: the cost of eLearning tends to be less than classroom-based training, and 60% of eLearning consists of ‘compliance training’; a necessity for many industries, even in economic downturn. Accessplanit’s integration with Moodle, allows companies that offer eLearning an easy way to integrate their eLearning offerings with their operational system.

While eLearning won’t necessarily work for every training business, there is much to be said for digitally streamlining the training process for your clients. Saving your clients time, and creating an efficient and trustworthy process; enabling online-booking and automating your communications system save both you and your clients time, and helps build trust in your training business.

4. Up Your Marketing Game

While it can’t be emphatically said that Brexit will have any effect on your prospects, preparing for a lull in bookings is a smart move for any proactive training company. It might seem obvious but improving and increasing the way you market to both new and existing clients will give you the added visibility you want, regardless of whether a buffer is necessary or not.

Re-marketing courses to old clients is a good way of reminding them that you still exist and can be easily done through a competent training management system.

Discover how a training management system can improve your efficiency and help future-proof your training business by booking a demo today!

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