Give employees chance to learn new procedures

The report from the CBI (‘Skills shortages after the recession feared by half of employers’,, 17 May) reveals both optimism and fear: optimism in that the recession will hopefully be drawing to a close and companies are already considering hiring; and fear that new recruits will lack the required skills.

At every level, it’s likely that relevant skills or knowledge will be missing. More needs to be done to encourage the younger generation to embrace technical and engineering- based subjects as there is already a skills gap. However, it’s also up to companies to ensure they provide employees with the opportunity to consistently learn while on the job.

Few jobs are for life. Never has it been truer that skills requirements are ever-changing. We’ve already seen how the digitisation of our world and working environment has changed our lives – it’s not fair to expect employees to adapt alongside these changes in their own time.

Companies and organisations recruiting need to ensure they hire people with the flexibility to learn new tricks and procedures, ideally with the relevant subject matter expertise. But, at the same time, they need to give employees the chance to train and learn on the job.

Allan Pettman, UK managing director, Global Knowledge

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