Workplace Development Programs to Consider: Investing in Your Trade Business's Most Valuable Asset

28 Feb 2024

How can you ensure your workforce stay fresh and up to date with training and development? This blog will show you how.

In trade businesses, how you attract and retain top talent is essential for success. Trade business owners should always prioritise investing in their staff's development and support to ensure they have the skills and motivation to thrive in their roles.

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In this article, we'll look at which workplace development programs that trade business owners should consider in 2024, helping you build a talented and engaged workforce that drives business growth.

1. Apprenticeship programs

Apprenticeship programs are a great opportunity for trade businesses to nurture young talent, (and retain that talent!), while developing a skilled workforce.

When you offer apprenticeships, you can provide hands-on training and mentorship to new staff while also benefiting from their fresh perspectives and enthusiasm.

According to data from the UK government's statistics, the number of individuals doing apprenticeships in England has been steadily increasing over the years, reaching 752,150 in the 2022/23 academic year.

You might also like to read: Industry growth for the year ahead - Trends and Considerations

2. Continuous training and development

By investing in continuous training and development for your staff you will keep their skills up to date and ensure they can adapt to evolving industry trends and technologies. Consider offering regular training sessions, workshops, and online courses to help employees enhance their skills and knowledge.

Platforms like Trade Skills 4U and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) offer a wide range of training courses specifically tailored to the needs of trade businesses. By providing access to these resources, you will empower your staff to grow both personally and professionally.

3. Mentorship and coaching programs

Mentorship and coaching programs are a great option if you have young talent within your trade business. It can help to nurture them and flourish their skills, which in turn makes a positive impact on your company. Pairing junior employees with experienced mentors will enable them to learn from those with more knowledge and gain valuable insights into the industry.

Encourage mentorship relationships within your team and provide resources and support to both mentors and mentees. If you foster a culture of learning and development, you can create a supportive environment where employees feel empowered to reach their full potential.

4. Health and wellbeing initiatives

When you prioritise employee health and wellbeing is essential you maintain a happy and productive workforce. This is better for your company’s people, reputation, and your bottom line.

Health and wellbeing initiatives such as employee assistance programs, mental health awareness training, and flexible working arrangements are a great consideration.

Sir Robert Mcalpine, one of the UK’s largest building and civil engineering companies has successfully lobbied the government to make flexible working rights for all staff from day one of their employment. Sir Robert McAlpine has been introducing flexible working to construction sites for all employees and has seen successful results.

“With no drop in productivity, on-site workers reported that they were able to spend more valuable time with family, while also feeling that they had greater opportunities for self-care and, more importantly, a chance to properly recharge their batteries. This is a key achievement in a sector such as ours, which is plagued by a mental health crisis.”

According to research from the Mental Health Foundation, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. When you make employee wellbeing a priority, you can reduce absenteeism, improve productivity, and create a more positive work environment.

5. Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are and always have been crucial in fostering an innovation and creative workforce, even in the trade industry. Diversity and inclusion programs and consultants can help you ensure that your workforce reflects the diverse range of customers and communities you serve.

According to data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), organisations with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be innovative and agile. With diversity and inclusion you can attract top talent, enhance employee engagement, and drive business success.

6. Employee Recognition and Rewards

Recognising and rewarding employee contributions is essential for boosting morale and motivation within your trade business. Consider implementing employee recognition programs, such as employee of the month awards, performance bonuses, and milestone celebrations.

Research from Gallup shows that organisations with highly engaged employees experience 21% higher profitability. By acknowledging and celebrating employee achievements, you can foster a culture of appreciation and loyalty within your team.


Investing in workplace development programs is essential for trade business owners looking to attract, retain, and develop top talent. By offering apprenticeship programs, continuous training and development opportunities, mentorship and coaching programs, health and wellbeing initiatives, diversity and inclusion programs, and employee recognition and rewards, you can create a supportive and empowering work environment where employees can thrive.

At the Consumer Protection Association (CPA), we understand the importance of investing in employee development and support. While our services may not directly relate to workplace development programs, we are committed to providing valuable information and resources to help trade business owners build and maintain a talented and engaged workforce. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and we're here to help you invest in their success.