Businesses struggle to find the right skills …

HR Magazine announce British Chamber of Commerce survey results from 6000 employers, in the UK.

So what does this survey share?

Highlighted recruitment difficulties for positions cross-sector, because of skills shortage. Quite rightly so, this situation causes enormous frustration, for employers and potential recruits alike.

How often are HR professionals and employers presented with these issues?

  • Lack of appropriate core skills, such as literacy and numeracy
  • Under-developed soft skills, such as timekeeping, professionalism and communication
  • Lack of confidence in qualifications offered by graduates or school-leavers
  • Difficulties in appointing ex-public workers, or those unemployed for 6 months or more
  • Difficulties in embedding Apprenticeships organisationally, despite the national push for numbers

Apprenticeships is another topic (this will be a subject for later), but for now the highlighted points above, are not new. In the world of skills development, we have known these as ‘employability issues‘. Solutions can be found even in the current global economic climate.

It is time for positive action and some skills reinforcement.

  • Action for individuals: To prepare well and thoroughly to the job spec. A willingness to reflect on weaknesses and learn to perfect these.
  • Action for training providers: Who I am sure are well equipped with research into local demographics and local government partnership activities. This also includes Awarding Body assessment and / or OFSTED standards; quality procedures and performance measures, with the roll-out of consistent checks; and inspections.
  • Action for learners: To work hard on ’employable’ skills and perfect them. Take positive pro-active action, to acquire  essential attractive skills for business; and market them well at interview.
  • Action for employers: Assumptions made but further supported by performing an organisational ‘reality skills check‘, from recruitment with defined local market intelligence; which should support the planning stages of advertisement, to role design, defined job specification embedded for business outputs; to embedding exemplar organisational employability and succession planning practices.

HR partners ensure skills development best practice, and placement for performance and business delivery.

Organisation Reflection:

How far are your HR practices helping support the employability agenda, not just at recruitment levels but focussing on positive succession planning?

Positive succession planning: Have you got a current skills map of what resource, skills, knowledge and experience, you have within the workplace? Are these resources best placed for your business needs? Are your employees empowered to innovate? Are they using their skills effectively? Are they clear about progression within your company, and how they acquire skills to maximum benefit of the company and themselves?

Further Reading:

The article is available online for further detail:


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