Special edition: CIPD calls on employers to step up on skills 📣
This week in The Milkround, I'm doing a special double-header on the new skills research from the CIPD and what it means for those of us currently recruiting graduates, apprentices and young people.
💼 DOUBLE HEADER
No wonder employers have skills gaps when they still look for degrees in recruitment - CIPD
The professional body for HR and people development, the CIPD, has released the results from its latest survey with YouGov of more than 2,000 senior leaders at private, public and third-sector organisations across the UK. The research sought to understand their perspectives on skills development in their workforce.
The most alarming finding for early careers professionals is that, despite the fact that almost 7 in 10 large employers (with 250+ employees) look for degrees when hiring, a quarter of the senior leaders surveyed said that a university education either very poorly or fairly poorly prepared young people for the world of work.
Only 17% of large employers said that they don't look for any particular qualifications when hiring, with this number dropping to just 7% in the public sector. At the same time, 43% of employers say that they aren't getting the skills required when trying to fill professional roles in areas such as science, engineering and technology.
Speaking to Personnel Today, CIPD senior policy advisor Lizzie Crowley commented that 'employers need to stop thinking that university degrees are the best indicator of a person’s potential at work. They think they’re getting ‘off the shelf’ capability rather than assessing the specific skills needed for roles, then wondering why they have ongoing skills gaps.'
What it means for you: The institute ends its report by saying that employers aren't investing in developing the skills they need because they simply aren't aware of their skills gaps in the first place. This calls for a joined-up approach across HR to ensure that early talent recruiting is effectively contributing to getting the right skills from the right places in the right ways.
💼 DOUBLE HEADER
A third of senior leaders don't know if their organisation pays the apprenticeship levy - CIPD
The other areas of the CIPD's survey that will be of interest to those in early careers are the findings on alternative routes into to the workplace.
HR and recruitment professionals will likely squirm to hear that almost a third of senior decision-makers (31%) didn't know whether they had to pay the apprenticeship levy, and more than half (54%) didn't know what a T-level was.
Financial services firms and organisations in the retail and hospitality sectors were the least likely to be offering apprenticeships, according to the report, and a mere 3% of all the employers surveyed said they were engaging with the T-level programme.
The CIPD commented that some firms appear to be unaware and overconfident about the skills in their workforce, with 14% of employers who don't offer apprenticeships choosing not to because they think their staff are already fully skilled.
They also noted that 2 in every 5 business and law apprentice starts in 2021 were at management level, and that this meant 'those who most need access to high-quality technical training lose out – namely those who are lower-skilled and younger individuals.'
What it means for you: With 60% of employers surveyed not offering apprenticeships, and with the full rollout of T-levels rapidly approaching next year, it's never been more important for HR and recruitment teams to lead the discussion around diversifying entry-level routes into their organisations. This is especially true given the above finding that employers may be relying too heavily on degrees as an entry requirement into their workforce.
💭 THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
“Employers are still undervaluing the diverse talent pool available among the half of young people pursuing non‐university routes” - Lee Elliott Major OBE, professor of social mobility at the University of Exeter, speaking about the new CIPD research in People Management magazine.
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