The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (the REC) have highlighted that almost half of the employers they interviewed stated they were expecting a shortage of candidates for roles and 42% said they had increased the salary on offer to get the positions filled. The Chief Executive of the REC stated that
‘We need to train people up by embedding employability skills in schools, providing effective careers guidance and promoting apprenticeships. Employers should take responsibility for investing in training – it will help them retain staff and grow their own talent’.
The REC report was almost tame compared to the Armageddon scenario the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released in April 2018, that the UK was sleepwalking into a low-value and low-skills economy, due to a continual lack of investment over two decades into skills development. The authors of the CIPD report said that ‘while efforts are being made to reform education, it’s clear that there needs to be a much greater emphasis on learning and development in the workplace’.
In our experience, many organisations treat training and development as a cost to the business using reasons ranging from, ‘We’re a small business and everyone knows their job’, to ‘We’ve been doing the same thing for years’, and while these may be legitimate reasons to a certain extent, it’s a small comfort when the company is struggling to survive in today’s highly competitive environment.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) put the solution bluntly; If you want your staff to stay, you'll make training a priority. In their ebook of the same name, they identify some great reasons for investing in training:
ISO management systems all contain requirements for competency, whereby workers need to be provided with the skills, education or training to do the work required of them. The approach that an organisation takes is entirely their own choice and if appropriate, could be completed over multiple stages; through induction to simple buddy-buddy type training, and onwards to specific or highly specialised training available only through courses. Organisations that communicate well with their workers and involve them in the decision-making and planning of their skill development and ongoing progression, will be well-placed to maximise the reasons that the AAT have identified.
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