Maru Inplacement

What can HR do for UK skill shortage?

24 April 2017

Story by
Sarah Rice


Head of Learning & Development at Resource Management, Oliver Hartley give us 3 key tips…

Recent reports by the CIPD suggest the UK is still falling behind on skills growth by comparison to other major EU countries. The report detailed UK employers spend less on training than other major EU economies and less than the EU average generally. This leaves the UK in fourth from bottom on the EU league table on participation in job-related adult learning, with evidence showing a marked deterioration since 2007.

 But has anything really changed? Skills shortages and calls to government to improve investment in skills growth is a recurring conversation and one that HR professionals in particular are no stranger to. The subject is broad, complex and difficult to negotiate from a single standpoint. So what can HR really do to combat the issue?

[pull quote] “We partially refer to ‘talent’ as an ability to recruit people instead of growing capability – but we need to be thinking about an organisational renewal agenda,” says Norman Pickavance, senior independent adviser to A Blueprint for Better Business, “Organisations need to benefit from innovation-related commercial development, and we need to be thinking not only about skills development, but job design, work design and skills design.”

The CIPD have used this report to call on organisations to improve their offering in the skills-improvement space and have heavily suggested that HR are key to improving skill strengths in the workplace. Via internal skill-boosting initiatives, businesses are able to both feed their own productivity and results, whilst also helping balance an economy in need of workers with continually improving potential.


How can you begin building your new internal training programme?

1)      Board-level buy-in

Productivity, results and retention provide an excellent business-case for investing in training. Identify the areas which will boost the bottom line most and present this to the board for buy-in which starts at the top.

2)      Defining an individual who will drive the programme

Any programme of change requires a driving-force behind it to keep momentum up. I run Learning and Development for all businesses within RSG which includes Resource Management. Having someone run this area of business as their full time role allows it to develop and be defined by the ongoing demands of the business.

3)      Seek methods which will serve staff across the organisation

How you deliver training will depend very much on your business style and could be anything from class-room teaching, e-learning or learning on the job. Here, we tailor training to the level of experience our staff have. For those who have a basic level of knowledge, for example, we provide a blend of class room training, mentoring and work place practice with feedback and performance reviews to assist.

Whether it be delivering a new training programme or implementing a different style of organisational change, the process can be a challenging prospect. For more guidance and tips from work-place case studies on making this a success, download our white paper ‘Driving Positive Cultural Change’.



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