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.