1.    In-house training

It has often been said that the best way to make sure that an employee thoroughly understands a topic is to have them train others.

You might want to design and run your own training or work in partnership with similar organisations to you, or with customers or suppliers. 

Some of the advantages of in-house training include:

  • It offers value for money as it does not require people to be off-site saving travel or subsistence costs.
  • There is no need to consider how to transfer the lessons of learning back into your business’s culture or working practices.
  • The ability to customise training to your exact business needs or procedures.
  • It is more flexible in terms of scheduling.
  • The ability to adapt training during delivery if needed.
  • It improves internal communication, teamwork and relationships within your organisation.
  • There may be a commercial opportunity to sell your own business’s training expertise to others. 

In-house training for most employees comes from informal on-the-job training.  This could include employees training colleagues, managers training employees, or an in-house dedicated trainer.

However, even the smallest businesses with no training budget can carry out in-house training.

Types of in-house training could include:

  • job shadowing
  • coaching or mentoring
  • job rotation
  • special projects or assignments
  • passing on training - when one employee goes on a course (or online) and then passes the knowledge on to other employees

More structured forms of in-house training can be run in a meeting room, or similar; or over the internet and cover topics like:

  • managerial skills such as communication, presentation and time management
  • computer packages
  • finance
  • sales and marketing
  • business planning
  • legal and regulatory requirements

2.    External training

If you don't have the skills or resources to train your employees internally, you may choose to use an external training provider.

Using an external training provider can provide a number of benefits including:

  • They are specialists in the subject matter, in your business sector, and have the skills to train others.
  • They can bring you and your employees up to speed on current best practice and new ideas and help you benchmark against competitor.
  • It gives your employees the opportunity to network with people from other companies or sectors.
  • Your employees may learn better away from their usual work environment

However, you also need to consider some of the drawbacks, including:

  • It can disrupt your business - as it may require you to send an entire team away from the office at the same time.
  • It is more expensive than internal training.
  • The training may not be specific to your particular business and you will need to consider how to transfer the learning back into your own business processes.

Choosing an external training provider
When deciding what type of training or training provider you would like to use, consider the following:

  • Does the provider understand my training objectives and the demands of my sector?
  • Is the training at the right level for those in my business and will it lead to any accreditations or qualifications?
  • Does the provider offer a learning environment best suited to my people?
  • How is the training assessed?
  • Has the provider got any approval from my trade or professional body?
  • Can the provider put me in touch with satisfied clients or offer testimonials?
  • Does the course represent value for money?

3.    Sources of information and provision

There are many commercial companies and colleges who can provide generic and specialist training.  However, training, advice, support, and resources are available from:

Welsh Government: BOSS

The Welsh Government’s Business Online Support Service (BOSS) offers a range of free online courses on topics including:

  • Building Successful Teams
  • Coping with Workplace Change
  • Coaching for Leaders
  • Decision Making
  • Effective Induction
  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Making Effective Presentations
  • Managing Absenteeism
  • Managing Your Time
  • Mentoring Others Effectively
  • Setting Objectives and Monitoring Performance

Registration is free and simple at
Trade associations

Trade associations understand the current training needs of businesses in their sector as well as those skills likely to be needed in the future.  They will often recommend approved private training providers or offer tips on finding reputable ones. Sometimes they offer their own training courses.

Professional bodies

These may offer or recommend training courses and information that are less sector-specific and more general, for example relating to exporting or accounting.  They often have professional recognition, particularly if the training is part of a continual professional development programme.

Sector Skills Councils

(SSCs) are government-licensed independent organisations bringing together employers, trade unions and professional bodies. Their aim is to identify and tackle skills shortages and gaps by sector. 

National Training Federation for Wales

The National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) is a Wales wide representative body for all those organisations or individuals involved in the training industry. Members range from small specialist training providers to national and international organisations, as well as local authorities, further education institutions and charities.


CollegesWales is a national body representing all the further education colleges and institutions in Wales.  The colleges work closely with businesses, developing tailored courses to up-skill the workforce, delivering Apprenticeships and work-based learning, and courses at higher education levels e.g. HNDs, Foundation Degrees.