Tuesday 29 July 2008

Train to Gain a Government Initiative

The Government is earmarking £200 million for training in key sectors of the economy, such as construction and IT. At the moment the bulk of government funding is aimed at improving the literacy and numeracy of lower-skilled employees through their flagship training initiative, Train to Gain. Employees with low levels of basic skills or who do not have a level 2 qualification can benefit from the independent Train to Gain scheme. Specific funding initiatives are also in place for achievement of management and leadership qualifications and some level 3 qualifications.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that if the government is to realise its ambition of raising the nations productivity levels it needs to expand its support to other areas in which recruitment is difficult due to genuine skill shortages. The most effective method would be to provide additional training to internal staff to fill the posts rather than recruit people who do not have the necessary skills.

Employers should be playing their part too. By investing in training they can add to the supply of skilled labour and help combat recruitment difficulties. Employees are more likely to able to progress further in the company with internal training and the amount of employees that would stay with a company would increase.

Another recommendation from the government is that every school leaver should have the right to an apprenticeship by 2013. At present only 6% of employers offer them. John Denham the skills secretary from the Learning and Skills Council said

"An apprenticeship will become a typical choice for young people and adults- at the same time ensuring that businesses get the vital skills that they need. Apprenticeships are at the heart of the country’s economy. They unlock talent and are the key to our future prosperity".

Even with the offer of an apprenticeship scheme the first port of call would still be through LSC'S Train to Gain service.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for web designer jobs, account manager jobs and asp .net developer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Think Smallest Business First

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to members of both the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, seeking support for its 'Think Smallest First' campaign. They are urging senior MPs, including the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to pledge their support for the UK’s smallest firms first and to consider the impact of the regulation on the smallest businesses at every stage of the legislation process.

Prof Whyman, who has written exclusively for the FPB, refers to small businesses as the "backbone of virtually all economies", quoting figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that almost half (47.1%) of the UK's working population – 22.4 million people – are employed by small businesses. In turn, they produce £2, 6000 billion worth of goods and services. He also writes that small businesses have the potential to be more customer – focused than their larger competitors, often operating in niche markets, identifying new opportunities and satisfying market demands that would otherwise remain unfulfilled.

More than 99% of the UK's businesses are small (1 to 49 members of staff); however, the majority employ fewer than 10 employees. The recruitment and Employment Confederation estimates 9,070 of the 11,354 recruitment companies (80%) earn less than £1m in turnover.

Phil Orford chief executive at FPB, said; "It is widely acknowledged that small businesses across the UK are struggling to cope with the increasing burden of red tape and other barriers to growth, such as the UK's disproportionate tax system."

"The key issue is that businesses at the smaller end of the scale most often lack the resources to over come these barriers. Considering the smallest, most valuable firms had to be the number one priority of all politicians when it comes to legislating on enterprise."

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the creative recruitment, marketing recruitment and technical recruitment industries, based in Manchester, UK.