This round-up of what’s happening in the world of training and skills looks at who is tackling skills shortages,why women and men are ideally suited to work together on company boards, what UK tribunals are saying about diversity training, and the surprise finding that UK employers are more innovative in their training than their European counterparts.
Pan-European research by training provider Cegos - covering 600 HR directors and 2,800 employees, has some interesting findings about what UK and other European organisations are doing in the learning arena. UK organisations are the most likely to use coaching and mentoring, online distance learning, and blended learning, and UK learners are more likely than others in Europe to be satisfied with the training they have received.
PWC’s global, Managing Talent survey finds that 83% of the 1,200 CEOs plan to change their firm’s talent management strategy over the next 12 months and for 31% these changes will be major. They believe the main challenge to talent over the next few years will be a limited supply of candidates with the right skills.
Skills and tackling unemployment
Back in the UK, there’s a shortage of good news on skills and employment prospects for the young:
A report by the CBI and Pearson concludes that the number of employers who are dissatisfied with school and college leavers’ basic skills remains stuck at around a third – the same as a decade ago – with 42% reporting that they have had to provide remedial training for school and college leavers.
The annual skills survey by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills finds that some sectors have skills ‘potholes’, damaging business performance. Factory workers and bar staff are among the least likely to be trained – less than half of people in semi-skilled roles have received training in the past year. Surprisingly, only 45% of employers provide any management training, while four in ten employers provided no training at all in the past 12 months.
On the positive side, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has launched a Learning to Work campaign to help young people “break the vicious circle of no experience, no job”. It will work to engage leading employers and CIPD members with the role they can play in this, through building closer links with schools and colleges, providing high quality work experience placements, increasing access to the professions, and creating more opportunities for work-based learning and training.
Women at work
Research by Talent Innovations, analysing the 360 degree feedback of 14,000 UK leaders and managers, highlights the fact that men and women have different strengths relating to leadership competencies, and leadership development may therefore benefit from being tailored according to gender. It also suggests that the natural working styles of men and women leaders are complementary, making an ideal partnership for company boards.
Elva Ainsworth, managing director of Talent Innovations, said:
“Men tend to be stronger in the behaviours that help an individual to progress their career. They’re also seen as stronger in strategic thinking. These factors may be part of the reason why women are under-represented in senior management positions.”
Tribunals recommend diversity training
The latest XpertHR podcast focuses on recommendations that were, unusually, made by employment tribunals related to diversity training, highlighting how important it is for employers to get this right.
Read more on diversity training, and apprenticeships
In Stone v. Ramsay Healthcare, the tribunal recommended maternity rights training after an employee was given work to do two days after giving birth. Specifically, it said the company should appoint external consultants to train its managers and the HR team on its existing maternity policies, and the employer’s legal obligations during maternity leave.
In Crisp v. Iceland Foods, where a woman who suffered from panic attacks won her claim for constructive dismissal, disability harassment, and direct disability discrimination, the tribunal recommended that the retailer train HR staff in disability discrimination, specifically relating to mental health.
The government has launched a review of apprenticeships in England to keep an eye on their quality. Vince Cable, Business Secretary, said that some youngsters have been let down by “weak courses”, and he looks to emulate Germany, where two-thirds of young people take some form of apprenticeship by the time they are 25.
The government also announced the second round of its Higher Apprenticeship Fund investment to support the development of 4,230 new “degree-level” apprenticeships in sectors such as aviation, low carbon engineering, legal services, and space engineering.
Meanwhile, a study by the Financial Skills Partnership and Career Academies UK, based on a survey of 17 and 18 year old students, finds that many young people hold views about careers and how to progress that are “simply not based on evidence”. It says:
“Young people believed they had a high level of awareness of apprenticeships, but further questioning revealed their knowledge was inaccurate and shallow.”
Photo by internets_dairy.