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SMEs ‘Must Focus on Training’


Almost half of small and medium-sized enterprises have accused employees of having poor standards of education and training.

A survey shows that 43% of SMEs have difficulties in recruiting because of inadequate levels of education or training in the workforce.

Over a quarter (28%) said that both poor standards in education and inadequate training were preventing them from recruiting good quality members of staff.

Jolyon Stonehouse, Chairman of the Tenon Forum, said: "The survey has highlighted an alarming knowledge and skills gap in UK workers.

"SMEs increasingly rely on the quality of their staff members to set them apart from the larger corporations; so if poor levels of education and training are holding them back from recruiting, SMEs will soon be facing a huge issue.

"To address this knowledge gap, SMEs will undoubtedly have to focus on ways of improving standards in-house - whether it be through on-the-job training or allowances for employees to gain educational training alongside their work."

Over one in ten SMEs in finance and business as well as agriculture were concerned about educational standards, whereas training is a clear issue for SMEs in the construction industry with 29% expressing concern for standards.

Transport and communications showed the highest levels of dissatisfaction - 33% - with both education and training, closely followed by manufacturing (32%).

The results come from a recent survey on staff recruitment, conducted by NOP World for the Tenon Forum, an independent think-tank made up of leading entrepreneurs from the UK's small and medium-sized business community.


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