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A week in training: The skills to survive recession


news This week: More evidence that training and development is the key for companies wanting to survive the recession, the CIPD warns of redundancies to come and the CBI highlights the advantages for business of working with universities to boost skills.

As the recession bites harder, a new Nurturing Talent report from Cranfield School of Management reveals organisations that invest in their staff are best placed to save money, improve staff motivation and hang onto their employees longer. Senior Research Fellow for the school, Dr Emma Parry, said: “With training budgets arguably amongst the first to go in a recession, this research demonstrates that growing your own is an effective way for organisations to obtain the skills they need while saving money.” To download a copy of the report visit:

Meanwhile businesses and universities can work together to improve workforce skills according to a new CBI-Universities UK report, Stepping Higher. The report highlights the advantages for businesses of working with higher education to create training programmes which deliver the skills they need. Director General of the CBI, Richard Lambert said: “Both sides can benefit from collaboration – businesses from new thinking and high quality employees, and universities from practical insights that enrich their teaching and research.”

The CIPD survey Who Learns at Work? 2008 reveals 'being shown how to do things and practising them' is considered to be the best method of learning by employees, yet training is still mainly being carried out in a classroom situation. Martyn Sloman, CIPD adviser, said “As trainers we need to deal with the world as it is, not the world we wish it to be. Trainers are no longer the sun around which learner planets revolve.”

Another survey this week, released ahead of this year’s World of Learning Conference - November 19 and 20, NEC, Birmingham - reveals that the BBC TV series The Apprentice highlighted communication skills as the main weakness of young managers. The survey, taken of over 250 learning and development experts, was carried out at last year’s conference, exhibition and awards for business learning.

“The spectre of redundancy is beginning to haunt the UK jobs market once again,” according to CIPD Chief Economist, Dr John Philpott. The CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook ‘Redundancy Special’ warns that more than a quarter of over 700 employers questioned plan to make new or further redundancies in the next 12 months with older workers set to bear the brunt and managers, professionals and skilled non-manual workers also likely to suffer in the redundancy cull. The CIPD has advice on managing redundancy issues and frequently asked questions on legal aspects of redundancy.

The one-stop-shop for people seeking training and help into employment, the Adult and Advancement and Careers Service (AACS) promised by the Government last year moved a step further this week. Skills Secretary John Denham announced ten prototype advisory services working towards the AACS launch in 2010. Publishing a prospectus setting out the service’s development, he said: “Everyone deserves a better chance to get on in work and in life, but often people find a range of barriers in their way and the new service needs to be able to help people tackle them all.”


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