UK must improve management skills before it can compete with India and China

The UK has a management crisis that must be urgently tackled if it is to compete with India and China, according to a key figure.

Petra Wilton, head of public affairs at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), condemned the state of leadership in UK businesses.

The Leitch Review told the government in December that UK skill levels needed to be ramped up to avoid a “lingering decline in competitiveness”.

Wilton said training of managers should be a priority as only one in five has a Level 2 management-related qualification.

“There are lots of accidental managers in the UK who have been given a promotion due to their professional skills but have no formal management training,” she said.

Poorly qualified managers tend to bring down the general level of competence and inspiration within firms, she added. “Managers impact on decision making, and our research has shown that organisations that invest in management performance get better results.”

The CMI wants the government to go further than the Leitch Review and set a target of 50% of managers to be trained to Level 4 – a first degree or other higher-education qualification – by 2020.

“There is a real threat to the UK’s competitiveness if we do not get the right leaders to take us into the new global market,” Wilton said.

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