Lord Leitch’s initiatives fall on deaf ears

Only 13% of employers have signed up to Lord Leitch’s Employer Skills Pledge despite the majority of companies saying they will require a broader and higher level of skills in the next two years, a new report has found.

The annual Learning and Development survey conducted by the CIPD found that while nearly half of  employers are considering signing up to the Employer Skills Pledge or the “Train to Gain” initiative, at present companies are failing to put their money where their mouth is.

Training and learning and development work doesn’t come cheap – average training spending per employee works out at roughly £300. However, companies are increasingly likely to have access to dedicated training budgets, 80% of the survey’s respondents reporting this being the case within their organisation.

Despite regular complaints about poor levels of numeracy and literacy it’s the lack of so-called ‘soft-skills’ that is giving managers cause for concern – two thirds of organisations feel new employees lack both communication/interpersonal skills and over half think they lack management and leadership skills.

When it comes to concerns around numeracy and literacy, these are issues that should be addressed by the government according to respondents. Nearly 90% of organisations believe that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that young people are educated in these areas to an appropriate standard. Meanwhile, 57% believe employers have a role to play in raising standards within the workforce.

Sarah Van Der Heyden, policy adviser at the CIPD said that companies are going to take some persuading to sign up to a pledge or initiative.

“There is no doubting the government’s commitment to making the UK a skills leader by 2020, but there is more work to be done to convince employers that the government has the right answers to the problem,” she said.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008


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