From education to employment

Training opportunities open up as employers focus on retention

According to a recent report, although recruitment is drying up, there is real scope for those already in work to secure development and promotion opportunities.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that employers are turning to retention and staff development rather than recruitment to secure the skills they need.

Its Recruitment, Retention and Turnover survey shows the key resourcing challenge has remained a lack of necessary speciality skills (73 per cent), while a majority of organisations (56 per cent) prefer to retain rather than recruit staff in response.

The survey reveals 75 per cent believe "additional training to allow internal staff to fill posts" is the most effective recruitment initiative. To address retention, most (47 per cent) favour "offering increased learning and development opportunities".

"It’s encouraging to see that employers have their eye on the long term in their recruitment strategies. In the face of the current resourcing challenges, they are looking at innovative ways to ensure they retain and develop their talent. This environment offers real opportunities for ambitious and motivated employees to secure learning and career progression opportunities that might have been more difficult to come by when firms were recruiting more regularly," says Jill Miller, CIPD resourcing and talent planning researcher.

However, only a quarter in the survey rated Train to Gain as good or very good, despite strong signs of a re-focus on retention combined with effective training to combat the skills shortage.

The same percentage said Business Link, the government-backed body providing practical advice for organisations, was effective in its support.

A lack of efficient government backing was blamed by employers, but only 58 per cent reported having a formal resourcing strategy. This suggests that in many cases retention and recruitment programmes are not aligned to business strategy.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD public policy adviser, says: "It’s worrying that only half of respondents have a formal resourcing strategy, putting a question mark over whether tailored learning and development is equipping employees with the necessary business-critical skills for survival.

"Steps by the government to make the training offered through Train To Gain more employer-led and to simplify the process are welcome, but employers will only be in a position to offer the right training when key skills/development needs are highlighted through a formal resourcing strategy aligned to business objectives. Only then will real business impact and increased retention – as employees feel that they are being efficiently developed – be experienced."


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