Boosting skills in the workplace and boost productivity

The UK has a productivity problem, and under qualified leaders are partly to blame.

So wrote the chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, Ann Francke, in a national newspaper in October 2017.

She added that the UK invests less money in training managers than our competitors. As a result, she says, four out of five first-time managers have not received proper training.

A report, published last September by The Centre of Social Justice, says that Britain today is 20% less productive than the pre-crisis (2008) trend in productivity growth.

Productivity measures output per person, per time worked. If productivity was higher in the UK, we could either work less, or be paid more. Ideally both.

The report highlights three long term drivers of productivity stagnation: A systematic decline in the level of UK innovation, a growing gap in productivity performance between London and the rest of the UK, and human capital – including the low levels of professional training and in-work progression.

Gloucestershire College is tackling the third issue head on.

The College has just launched a new business school offering courses for new and middle managers to skill up and progress their career in the business which employs them.

Long term learning and professional development is considered a given by the larger companies. Less so by small and medium-sized (SME) businesses where there is usually not as much slack in the system, or management time, to organise training.

Gloucestershire College is making considerable efforts to ensure that the SMEs which struggle most to offer in-work training can access it as easily, and cost effectively, as possible.

Andy Bates, Chief Financial Officer at Gloucestershire College, explains:

“Much of what we are offering is within our portfolio of professional training qualifications through our new business school. These are often practical courses linked to real projects within each business. Our staff work with individual students, supporting them either on-line, at one of our campuses or in their place of work.”

The outcome of such training is employees with more ability, confidence and motivation which will improve their, and the company’s, productivity.

Examples of the training Gloucestershire College is offering SMEs include accredited qualifications in accountancy, law, HR, IT and other professional competencies.