Bosses increase training to fill widening skills gap
Thursday, May 13, 2004One in three employers (32%) are predicting major changes in their skill needs over the next two years, according to research from the Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI).
A further 59% of employers expect minor changes in their skill needs, and only 8% say skills will remain the same.
The vast majority of employers (87%) would prefer to develop skills in-house and more than three in four organisations (77%) say they will be increasing the amount of training they offer staff, to meet skill gaps. However, two out of three organisations (66%) accept that they will have to recruit new skills, suggesting they cannot rely on training and development alone.
In a further twist, employers also recognise that they can attract and retain better job candidates by offering training and development programmes. More than two in three (70%) include skills training in job offers to prospective employees.
Commenting on the findings Professor Shaun Tyson from Cranfield School of Management, which carries out the RCI research for the Daily Telegraph, said: “The research implies that employers see themselves investing more in individual employees’ development. In a way, this is a reaction not just to changing skill needs but also to labour shortages.
“In some areas of the country, notably the South East, these skill shortages are becoming particularly severe. The ageing population, which means employers can no longer rely on a ready pool of young recruits, is compounding the problem. Employers should respond by looking at how they retrain workers, regardless of age, on a continuous basis.”
Stephen Gardner, Director of Work-based Learning at the Learning and Skills Council, which sponsored the research special said: "The results reinforce existing research which has shown that the skills required for jobs are changing. Employers should start to address this shortfall by training existing staff through work-based programmes such as Apprenticeships tailored to their specific business needs. Too many are trying to fill the skills gap by recruiting skills rather than through education and training."
Stephanie Richards, Recruitment Research Manager at the Daily Telegraph, said: “Training is about more than just providing your organisation with skills, it’s also about attracting and retaining the best staff. Candidates of all ages have wised up to the importance of training as part of the package and are looking for employers who will develop and use their skills as well as offer good financial rewards.”
The RCI’s research also found that:
- 90% of employers believe the training they provide has a direct impact on bottom-line business results.
- On average, the organisations surveyed spend 5% of the pay bill on training
- 63% provide staff with externally accredited training
NOTES TO NEWS EDITORS
- The Recruitment Confidence Index is a quarterly survey of public and private sector employers that measures expected changes in recruitment activity and business conditions during the next six months. It also looks at recruitment methods, skills shortages, staff turnover and pay rates. The RCI was set up four years ago by Cranfield School of Management and the Daily Telegraph and is currently produced in association with Personnel Today. Each quarter the RCI analyses a hot recruitment issue in more detail. This quarter’s special research has focused on skills and training
- The survey attracted responses from 1,352 public and private sector employers from across the UK and Ireland.
- The special report on skills and training is sponsored by the Learning and Skills Council. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for funding and planning education and training for over 16-year-olds in England. Its website is at http://www.lsc.gov.uk. For more information contact Vicki Newbold at Hill & Knowlton on 020 7413 3000
- The full RCI report is available to the public, price £50. To obtain a copy contact Dr Emma Parry, Cranfield School of Management on 01234 754808 or e-mail email@example.com. It is available free of charge to the media.
- The RCI web site can be found at www.rcisurvey.co.uk
For more information contact
Fiona Leslie, Press and PR Officer, Cranfield School of Management on 01234 754348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org