From education to employment

Skills pledge sees low take-up amongst employers

Skills shortages remain as employers fail to take up Leitch recommendations.

More than half of organisations state their learning and development work has not been influenced by the skills agenda set out by the government after the Leitch report.
The annual survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals that only 13% have signed the Employer Skills Pledge despite the majority of organisations requiring a broader and higher range of skills within the next two years.
Despite regular complaints about standards of literacy and numeracy, employers are yet more interested in soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills.
These abilities are highest on the wish list for employers as around 60% of new employees lack both interpersonal and management skills.
Employers do not seem to worry about basics such as literacy and numeracy as they believe it is the government’s responsibility to address these gaps.
Almost 90% are convinced that the government must ensure that young people possess the skills that come with standard education.
Victoria Winkler, Learning and Development Adviser at the CIPD said: “There is no doubting the government’s commitment to making the UK a skills leader by 2020. But there appears to be more work to be done to convince employers that the government has the right answers to the problem.”
Despite a gloomy economic outlook half of the respondents predicted the funding for learning and development will remain stable, 25% even believes the funding will increase.
“It is encouraging that many employers are stepping up training efforts despite starting to feel the economic pinch. With employers still reporting recruitment difficulties, it is clear that investing in learning and development will continue to be crucial if firms are to maintain the skilled workforce they need to meet their objectives.” Victoria Winkler added.
However in the public sector almost half of respondents reported a cut in available training funds over the past 12 months.
Victoria Winkler said: “Public sector employers seeking to reduce head count and cut costs may come to regret the further false economy of cutting back on investment in their people.”
Voluntary sector organisations spend the most on training amongst all three sectors; they report a stable or in some places increased spending per employee per year on training.
Sheila Kjaerhus

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