Skillsmart Retail outlines vital role for HR in developing accredited in-house training

HR professionals would have a vital role to play if in-house training was accredited on the high street, according to Skillsmart Retail, the sector skills council for retail.

Last week, a CBI report called on the government to shake up the qualifications framework to enable in-house staff training to be formally recognised, in line with the Leitch Review recommendations.

The CBI said UK companies should have the power to award their own nationally recognised qualifications to employees across all sectors. It said workers were being wrongly labelled as ‘low-skilled’ because the national qualification system fails to recognise the training schemes that many people undertake at work.

Beverley Paddey, head of standards and qualifications at Skillsmart Retail, said HR professionals were the key to ensuring in-house training programmes met the needs of their individual businesses. “But we would hope that retail HR departments would work with Skillsmart to ensure that while training structure and delivery may vary from one company to another, the national standards act as a unifying currency that can be accepted by all,” she said.

While there would be advantages to employers if in-house training were accredited, Paddey said she did not necessarily believe that companies should become awarding bodies.

Geoff Fieldsend, director of workforce development at the Sector Skills Development Agency, said HR professionals should also have a bigger role in setting national occupational standards, which describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to do a job to a nationally recognised level.

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