Lack of training holds UK firms back

The
UK is lagging behind its international competitors on the productivity field,
and employers view lack of training as the main barrier holding the country
back.  

This
is according to a new independent survey out this week, commissioned by
workplace development experts Investors in People UK.

The
new research, conducted by NOP World to mark the 10th anniversary of Investors in People, shows
almost a quarter of employers highlight a lack of training as having the single
most negative effect on employee productivity.  

It
finds that as a result the profits of entire organisations across the UK are
stifled when training and development of staff does not take place.

Nearly
80 per cent of UK managers agree that stress is a major barrier to productivity
and this was particularly seen as an 
issue in smaller firms and in the IT sector.

A
similar proportion of employers agree that having the right skills to do the
job and establishing a good training programme are essential to creating
employee and business productivity.

Amin
Rajan, chief executive of the Centre for Research in Employment and Technology
in Europe, commented, "It cannot be stressed enough that the development
of skills is essential for the UK to retain a strong position as a key player
in the global economy. These findings support the fact that training is a
fundamental requirement for the development of people and organisations.
Through the adoption of a training and development strategy, organisations can dramatically improve
productivity – and boost profits."

According
to Ruth Spellman, chief executive of Investors in People UK, skilled labour
shortages are causing a nationwide problem which needs to be addressed if
companies are to maximise their profits.

She
said, "It is well known that the UK trails behind its international
counterparts when it comes to productivity. Employers recognise that if we are
to improve our competitiveness, our focus must be on improving the skills and
training of our workforce.

"The
survey indicates that employers are becoming increasingly aware of the
importance of maximising staff skills at all levels in order to maintain high
performance workplaces."

Investors
in People UK’s research into People and Productivity consisted of 1,568
interviews with UK employers across a variety of sectors, regions and company
sizes, and 1,275 interviews with UK employees from a cross-section of the adult
population.

By Ben Willmott

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