Skills initiatives are missing the mark

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first_imgThere is a gap between training spend and result according to the recentlypublished National Employers Skills Survey (NESS) 2003. The findings of the survey – commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council(LSC) – paint a gloomy picture of the state of skills and training in England.Despite employers spending more than £4.5bn on training and an estimated extra£10bn in terms of staff time, only around half of employees are benefiting, itis claimed. More than a fifth of employers reported skills gaps in their workforce,which were adversely affecting their business. Yet only 39 per cent had atraining plan and less than a third (31 per cent) had a training budget inplace. A massive 72,000 interviews were carried out between April and June lastyear for the survey – the largest of its kind. It included the smallest firms(employing up to five staff) right up to major organisations, in 27 sectorsacross England. “The biggest surprise was finding that 2.4 million employees wereconsidered by their employers not to be fully proficient in their jobs,”said Stephen Gardner, director of skills and workforce development at LSC. “Skills gaps between applicants and job vacancies are consistent withwhat we have seen in the past. The sectors where the shortages were identifiedwere as expected, but there are huge variations across the board,” hesaid. While 43 per cent of employees lacked practical and technical skills, thehigh instance of ‘soft skills’ deficiencies was unexpected. Where staff werejudged by their employer not to be up to the job, 61 per cent were seen to lackcommunication skills, 55 per cent customer handling skills and 52 per cent wereshort on teamworking skills. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) sees the survey – conductedbefore the launch of the Skills Strategy last year – as supporting thedirection of the Government and the LSC. DfES spokesman, Philip Treloar, said: “We now have the funds to maketraining available to the workforce and the more employers we can get involvedin funded learning the better.” By Elaine EsseryThis story was taken from the latest issue if Training Magazine, out on 2March.  Subscribe at Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Skills initiatives are missing the markOn 24 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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