Café Culture Can Transform SMEs

Learning to Connect: Building the Cafe Culture MovementSkills Minister John Hayes has today called upon all UK SMEs to promote informal learning & training at work after the success of the "café culture" campaign.

The Café Culture campaign, launched last year by Business in the Community (BITC) on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), has received pledges from a number of bigger companies to improve their workers’ skills. Now the Café Culture campaign seeks to spread to all UK businesses, including the country’s many SMEs, in order to promote innovation and best practice.

Inspired by the likes of the search giant, Google, where an informal, fun and relaxed environment has earned the company the accolade of being one of the best places to work in the UK, the cafe culture campaign aims to replicate this sort of positive behaviour across the board in smaller companies too.

By adopting a more relaxed approach to workplace learning and development the campaign hopes to achieve greater unity in small businesses and to change attitudes for the better.

Skills Minister John Hayes said:

“Businesses have a pivotal role in promoting adult learning, and so have a unique opportunity to change, and indeed improve, people’s lives. In turn they can reap the harvest of a productive and engaged workforce."

"The many household names that have pledged to push informal workplace learning through the Café Culture campaign is testament to the value they place on developing new skills."

"I am delighted to see such positive results and look forward to seeing adult learning continue to grow at work."

The cafe culture campaign has already received pledges from big companies including a number from the FTSE 350, representing nearly 2 million UK employees. Whilst the UK’s SMEs may not be quite as big as the likes of Barclays Bank, BT and Channel 4, they can achieve positive results by adopting business practice procedures.

The BITC campaign is accompanied by a publication entitled Learning to Connect: Building the Cafe Culture Movement.

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