first_img Previous Article Next Article This month’s news.London held back by skill shortagesBusiness growth in London is still being impeded by skills shortages,according to the latest report from the London Skills Forecasting Unit. The report, based on interviews with 5,000 employers, listed the shortagesas a major constraint, alongside cashflow problems.Ironically employers are spending on training – the report estimates around£600m annually – but lack of time is a barrier to more training take-up.Analysis identified a strong link between training provision, productivity,increased sales and labour turnover. Employers who were recognised as Investorsin People were characterised by high levels of training.Shortfalls were seen in IT training, and businesses must learn how to usetechnology more effectively, says the report.Unit head Simon Ellis believes London shows every sign of experiencing the”new economy”. He said, “In the US there is a feeling that theproductivity bubble may have burst. If we are to avoid this in the UK, we needto maximise opportunities for growth.”Growth will only come about if employers use IT effectively and develop newgroups of people, he added. “Those in work are reasonably well-qualified.The real challenge is to push beyond the New Deal and diversify recruitmentpractices.” Qualifications route reviewedMapping is on-going between Ufi and qualifications body the QCA to ensurelearndirect modules are transferable.Yet Ufi still describes itself as an enabler. “If learners want theirlearning to result in credit towards a qualification, the learning centre willbe able to guide them to the appropriate courses and assessment requirements,”said Ufi head of quality and qualifications Sandy Goulding.learndirect says it does not intend to be a qualification or awarding body,but others remain sceptical. “If you’re sending learning material down thewire, it’s not a giant step to put in an assessment at the end and eureka –you’ve got a Ufi certificate in basic IT,” said City & Guilds directorgeneral Dr Nick Carey.Expats are not given trainingEmployers are failing to top up essential skills for expatriates and theirpartners, according to new research from the Industrial Society.In Managing Expatriates, its latest Best Practice report, the society foundthat only 64 per cent of expatriate employees receive ongoing, long-term careertraining during their assignments, despite the reasons for recruitment cited byemployers. For example, most say they recruit expatriate staff to fillpersonnel or skills gaps in an overseas subsidiary, to develop them by givingthem international experience and “to develop and foster organisationallearning”.The Industrial Society is shocked at the low level of preparation providedfor partners. Just over half of the respondents send them on field visits tohost or other countries and 10 per cent of respondents interview candidate’spartners before the posting.”This figure is surprisingly low given that an unhappy partner is oftenone of the main reasons for the failure of a placement,” said AlexSwarbrick, who conducted the Comments are closed. NewsOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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