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Staff losing faith in L&D function, warns report


More than two thirds of employers fear that their workforces are struggling to cope with expanded roles following job cuts made as a result of the recession.

But 52% are attributing at least partial blame to their learning and development (L&D) functions for being slow to respond to changing business requirements, with just over four fifths lacking confidence that their firm’s L&D strategy is aligned to operational business strategy.
These are the findings of a survey undertaken among senior decision makers at 100 of the UK’s largest companies by outsourcing provider, Capita Learning and Development.
The study revealed that two out of five managers were worried that at least half of their employees’ skill sets could end up becoming obsolete, while seven out of 10 were afraid that inadequate in-house expertise could pose a threat to their ability to exploit tentative economic recovery.
Chris Sharp, managing director at Capita L&D, said: “The post-recession landscape demands a range of new skills. Yet the UK workforce is critically lacking essential capabilities. Firms have failed to provide the right training through turbulent times and arm their staff with the skills needed for recovery. There is a real risk that this will leave UK Plc exposed when the upturn finally arrives.”
The blame for the situation was laid at least partially at the door of L&D functions, however. Some 55% of respondents claimed that their organisations were currently failing to provide the necessary training to exploit recovery, with 46% casting doubt on the ability of their L&D department to do so.
Just over half claimed that their L&D functions had been slow to respond to changing requirements during the recession, while 46% pointed out that there had been no significant change to training delivery in recent times as a result.
Moreover, a further 43% said they expected to see no major change in this area over the next two or three years, with half believing that their L&D department was stuck in a ‘business-as-usual’ mindset.

As a result, just over half of respondents feared that their company would not be able to respond to future surges in demand. Some 49% were concerned that they would be unable to identify where current skills were becoming outdated, while 47% worried that they were not in a position to retrain and redeploy staff as required.

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