Leitch Review is a kick up the backside for business

If HR is waiting for a hot opportunity to show how strategic it is, then the Leitch Review is it.

Formulating long-term plans to keep your organisation competitive, and putting skills development at the heart of how you do business, can easily elevate you to ’employer-of-choice’ status.

The Leitch Review is essentially a kick up the backside for UK businesses. The compulsion clause doesn’t appeal to many, of course – no-one likes to be forced to do something. But that’s why canny employers will take action immediately to avoid being compelled to do so by law- and to prevent that bleak future becoming a reality.

But for some to bleat that Leitch is putting too much onus on employers sounds like an excuse for doing nothing. There is so much that organisations can do now. Just look at McDonald’s, whose new employee website gives staff access to basic skills qualifications. Not only is this helping the fast-food chain shake off its ‘McJob’ tag, but the company is also doing its bit to benefit a new generation of workers.

The TUC said employers that don’t invest in training are short-changing staff. I would argue that employers that don’t train their people are short-changing their businesses and the economy as a whole.

For those who ask: ‘What if I spend all that money training my people and they leave?’, the response has to be: ‘What if you don’t train them and they stay?’

Say that to your board when they query your request for a bigger training budget.

To coincide with the publication of the Leitch Review, Personnel Today has partnered with Skills for Business to provide a special skills issue, out on 2 January. We will give you an in-depth analysis of the report, and outline what it means for HR.

This is our last issue of 2006. To stay up to date with HR news in the meantime, go to www.personneltoday.com.

Wishing you the very best for the festive season from all of us at Personnel Today. See you in 2007.

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