Budgets and redundancies plague HR in manufacturing

HR
departments in manufacturing organisations are struggling with low training
budgets and high levels of collective redundancy, according to new research.

The
survey of 365 UK organisations by online information service Consult GEE and
research organisation IDS also shows high levels of absence in the public
sector, much of which is stress-related.

The
average training spend per employee in 2003 was £285 compared with a
cross-sector average of £427, and manufacturing organisations are the most
likely to report reduced training budgets for 2004.

Lack
of job security is reflected in a voluntary staff turnover figure of just 6.6
per cent, against a cross-sector average of 11.8 per cent.

The
downturn in the manufacturing sector is also highlighted in the survey, with 30
per cent of organisations reporting collective redundancies, compared with a
cross-sector average of 15 per cent.

The
survey reveals only four in 10 organisations have a formal target for reducing
absence, with a typical cost of £727 for each employee in 2003.

The
average staff turnover rate in 2003 was 16.5 per cent for all leavers. For
voluntary leavers only (excluding retirements, redundancies and dismissals) the
average rate was 11.8 per cent.

“While
the downturn in the manufacturing sector has reduced the training budgets of
many organisations, employers should take a closer look at how increasing the
skills of their employees can improve productivity,” said Jenny Blackwell,
Consult GEE editor.

“In
addition, employees are taking more stress claims to tribunals than ever
before, so it is vital that organisations monitor absence, and analyse the
causes.”

By Mike Berry

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