Recruitment crisis hits further education sector

Colleges
are having trouble recruiting suitable staff, the Further Education National
Training Organisation (FENTO) says.

The
organisations latest annual survey highlights the difficulty of recruiting both
management staff and lecturers. The biggest problem was in teaching accounting
where 62 per cent of colleges surveyed experienced problems finding lecturers.

The
survey of 123 UK colleges shows that in all, 25 per cent had difficulties
recruiting course leaders and managers, 22 per cent failed to recruit
engineering managers, and 26 per cent had problems recruiting key and core
skills staff.

The
report says that the main reason for recruiting problems is the colleges’
inability to offer attractive remuneration.

“There
can be no doubt that significant difficulties in recruiting key management
staff will be followed by difficulties in maintaining and improving standards,”
the report says.

Of
the managers currently employed, many need more training, with an increasing
number of colleges identifying skills gaps among their managers – 42 per cent
identified performance management as a skill gap, compared with 35 per cent in
2000-2001.

More
than 10 per cent surveyed say the lack of managers with performance management
skills is having a serious effect on their institution.

Many
of the skills gaps (35 per cent) are in generic management skills, up 21 per
cent from a year ago.

However,
despite the perceived poor performance, 87 per cent of managers had
participated in continuing professional development in the last year.

www.fento.org

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