The Skills Shortages Dilemma


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issue 21 digital edition april 2011 opinion 14 15 the skills shortage dilemna international companies have struggled to find graduates in particular disciplines who meet the exacting standards that they require recognising that some of these more senior workers are crucial to them and to their sustaining success organisations will need to understand what these employees want what do they want from their later years of their working life relationships between employees and employers have tended to be quite one sided trades union activities and regulation has evened things out over the last few decades but it is still the employers who call the shots when someone joined a company or organisations they typically signed a contract to work full time for many years until they reached retirement age at which point they stopped working since the beginning of the industrial age there has been a command and control approach with workforces whereby the employer holds all the cards in terms of what job what rate of change of job what promotion and development for their workers what investment in their training and what pay they re given in addition there has always been an end date i.e the date when they would retire things start changing this year as your career questions answered pages 18-20 adult learners week revealed pages 24-26 simon north presents his solution for managing a dilemma effecting individuals and businesses alike one key element for sustaining organisational performance is the growth of learning within and across the organisation skills for the services and products you re providing needs constant attention at the most basic level skills shortages come from not having enough of a supply of people to meet the demands for very specific skills and knowledge that those familiar with are required in some places the balanced scorecard this is called organisational framework will know that capability the rate of growth and this fundamental and learning is as important as complex issue is going other fundamental issues to be magnified by the like customers processes demographic changes products and services and that are starting to affect financial performance the uk labour market the in most cases it is the growth and learning which size of the demographic bulge is related to the sheer can present the biggest volume of the cohort as challenge one key issue is that what you have in terms well as the specific skills of your skills currently is not that this cohort has and also the quality of some always enough it is likely of the skills which we that the balance of your know are not prevalent in the younger generations coming behind them the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964 starts reaching the natural retirement age of 65 this year and as they each move into their retirement years the older traditional skills of their generation and those of professions that were well served by schools colleges and universities up until 20 to 30 years ago such as science maths and engineering will become less prevalent and probably more in demand the loss of these skills will be managed partly by greater investment such as further investments in apprentice schemes trying to rebalance the teaching of key numeracybased subjects targeted immigration into the uk economy and/or movement of key jobs out of the uk and into other economies some of these solutions are more acceptable than others politically when looking at sustaining the uk s economy the people who are going to receive more attention than in past years will be older workers those who are part of the baby boomer generation now 48 to 65 years old may become more important in the economy as their loss from the labour market will be more keenly felt some well-known valuing the uk s older workers pages 28-31 you can still get your dream job pages 22&23 purpose coach news advice career doctor comment education


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issue 21 digital edition april 2011 opinion 16 17 report so on whilst many older employees will form part of the core they don t necessarily have to be working on a full-time basis organisations can look at accepting a repositioning of their key older workers in this new context for the individual holding on to the chance to continue working and remaining active whilst at the same time having the opportunity for more flexible contracts is potentially a win-win situation for them and their employer individual workers who take a good look at their skills and understand their value will be in a good position to take these skills to market maybe they will never have thought about that before and organisations that don t take this issue seriously might well lose out this piece has focused on what the issues are how organisations go about achieving this end state is another thing entirely the skills shortage dilemna the dra is removed in 2011 that process changes and the employee has the choice about whether to stay longer or not this brings a host of new opportunities workers can be accommodated on different types of contracts and in different more flexible ways if the people they work for are open to it and really listen to them the skills knowledge and wisdom that those with experience have could be harnessed and transferred creatively to the younger generations people can act as mentors to others through structured mentoring schemes in order to allow greater retention of knowledge and learning all it takes is for there to be a bit of innovative thinking and openness to these new ideas and ways of working the key to these changes will be flexibility over the past 20 to 30 years there has been a move towards greater flexibility and options within the working environment people have been wanting it seeking it and requesting it and the places where they work have had to start taking their requests seriously right now it s the older workers who will be wanting and demanding more options around how they manage their time and contribution at work and how they manoeuvre their transition through to retirement it s up to the people they work for to address this well and to think about how to contract with these valuable employees in the future if they succeed there will be ample opportunity for harnessing this newly available resource pool and to build on the already existing skills they have to offer if planned out this experienced workforce will want to continue adding value to where they work for a long time it is a great opportunity for real business continuity and the leveraging of skills and assets those business thinkers who have been studying this subject over the past 30 years believe that the number of core workers in any organisation will continue to reduce in number the organisation will need to find ways of retaining employee value that it has outside of its core workers to sustain it in the most effective way this has been a trend that has been growing contractors interims outsourcing and leading business information expert equifax has released its analysis of business failures for the first months of 2011 which seem to suggest a continuing downward trend in enterprises going under first months of 2011 see business failures fall the latest figures from equifax come hard on the heels of the latest data released by the office for national statistics ons which showed total industrial production rose by 4.4 in january year-on-year while manufacturing output rose by 6.8 over the same period we saw a steady drop in the number of organisations failing throughout 2010 ­ and these latest figures are continuing that trend explained neil munroe external affairs director equifax whilst there is no question that conditions remain difficult ­ and certainly at the end of last year and the first two months of 2011 the inclement weather paid its part in hitting sales we believe that good business management has paid off for many organisations in particular pay freezes and tight control on invoice payments provided the essential focus on cost control and cash flow management to aid survival in the regions the strongest performers year-on-year for january-february 2011 were yorkshire humberside scotland and the south west with 22.8 21.5 and 20.4 drops in failures respectively wales 23.9 west midlands 7.9 fall in failures overall in 4.5 the east january-february of england 3.3 and the north 2011 compared west 0.2 were to same period in the regions were 2010 there was a year yorkshire on year increase in failures humberside sees only the hotel biggest regional fall catering sector at 22.8 saw an increase wales records in failures year highest regional on year ­ at increase at 23.9 14.6 but all construction sector other business sees biggest drop in areas reported year on year failures decreases with the construction at 20.3 industry hotel catering showing the best sector sees performance at a biggest year on 20.3 drop year on year year increase at finding a sense of career direction pages 8&9 discover what we are born to do pages 12&13 the uk s skill shortage dilemna pages 14-16 written by simon north co-founder of position ignition for organisations helping hr to manage their senior experienced and most valued professionals effectively through to retirement position ignition for organisations is the b2b arm of position ignition ltd and is dedicated to getting the best out of an organisation s employees visit for organisations or email to find out more if you are an individual looking for help with your career visit www or for a host of career articles 8 steps to career change success pages 10&11 14.6 purpose coach news advice career doctor comment education purpose coach news advice career doctor comment education



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