Engaging Micro-Businesses

This guide is primarily aimed at skills providers for unemployed adults, but will also be of interest to learning providers that wish to engage micro-businesses for the purpose of delivering other forms of provision such as apprenticeships and work-based learning through full cost recovery.

NIACE has been aware for some time that providers would like to extend their work with micro-businesses. However, within the NIACE survey of providers delivering skills provision for unemployed adults (NIACE, 2011), nine out of ten providers said they found it challenging to engage employers of any size let alone micro-businesses. In response to the survey results, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned NIACE to undertake exploratory research into the engagement of microbusinesses by learning providers.

The guide describes the nature and circumstances of micro-businesses to acquaint providers with their needs and circumstances, moving on to propose a helpful approach to the engagement of micro-businesses based on their interaction with a trusted provider representative. It subsequently looks at the delivery of pre-employment training for micro-businesses and then describes the provision of recruitment process support for micro-businesses. Finally, the guide concludes with a chapter on how to make the engagement of micro-businesses cost effective.