Economic downturn fails to dampen enthusiasm of UK’s risk-taking bosses

Senior UK executives are unfazed by the economic downturn and believe working as usual and focusing on training will steer them through unharmed, a survey has found.

A survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) of 1,118 senior executives found 33% are still keen to take risks, while 57% are still willing to accept extra work.

Almost half said they were diverting attention from recruitment to improving the skills of core internal staff, and four in five said focusing on management and leadership would help them survive the recession.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said employers learned the hard way in the recession during the 1990s.

“The problem then was that organisations believed cost cutting was the best approach, but they were left rudderless, without the skills or resources to benefit when economic conditions improved,” said Causon. “It seems that managers and leaders are determined to avoid making the same mistakes again.”

But just one in five respondents felt secure in their current job, and more than half felt work had become more stressful as a result of the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, David Lammy signed off as skills minister last week with a warning to employers that they could yet face the prospect of a skills tax.

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