Firms neglect low-paid staff

Productivity in the UK is suffering because employers focus their resources
on developing high-earning skilled staff at the expense of low-income

So concludes the HR Trends and Prospects 2003 report from the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which finds lower skilled
workers receive less training, and feature less in recruitment and reward
strategies. They are also less likely to return to work when they become
parents, owing to prohibitive childcare costs.

The study, based on recent research by the CIPD, finds many UK workers do
not believe their employers or senior executives have their interests at heart.
Only one in three workers report they trust senior management "a lot"
to look after their best interests.

The CIPD’s chief economist John Philpott warned employers they risk damaging
their productivity if they neglect their low-skilled workers.

"It is easy to see why organisations devote so much attention towards
recruiting and retaining the best staff, given the pressures of an increasingly
compet- itive marketplace," he said. "But they do so at the expense
of improving performance and productivity at all levels."

Philpott said employers that place a greater emphasis on developing staff at
all levels also find it easier to fill skills shortages by promoting from

The report shows firms are becoming more innovative in recruiting and
retaining staff. Training and development is the most popular measure used to
retain top performers (66 per cent), followed by promoting a good image (47 per
cent) and increased pay (44 per cent).

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