Today more than ever before, the skills, motivation and activation of employees are crucial preconditions for the sustainable success, productivity and innovation of enterprises. However, the situation of SMEs with regard to training is characterised by a paradox.

On the one hand, continuous training and lifelong learning (both for workers and managerial staff) are regarded as crucial elements of competitiveness against the backdrop of globalisation. On the other hand however, statistics show that continuous training and qualification are less likely to be available to employees working in SMEs than to those in large companies.

Built upon the experience of good and successful practice in SMEs throughout Europe, this guide aims to illustrate how everyday challenges and tasks in the context of training and skills development could be addressed by SMEs successfully. Therefore it has been written for key actors involved in SME training: Company owners, management, trainers, employee representatives and trade unions, social partners and professional organisations at sectoral and national level.

This Guide is based on practical experience and is also accompanied by an annexe of 50 practical examples of good practices.

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