Skills Gap – faced by many sectors not just yours…

soft hard tech skills

 [Posted on LinkedIN – February 29th 2016 – LinkedIN post]

At times we all need a dose of reality, or a kick up the backside to do something. Over the weekend I was thinking about a Business in Calderdale round-table meeting/discussion on ‘Local Skills Gap’ and the relevance to a wider audience…

The ‘kick up my backside’ to create this post came from a shared tweet by Craig Fisher with an infographic on TheSavvyIntern blog.

The conclusion from both the blog post/infographic and the round-table discussion are eerily similar – Soft Skills are really important to businesses, but so is appropriate and relevant training and education [technical – hard skills].

The sectors represented at the round-table included: Government [Local and National], Higher Education, Businesses and Association [Chamber of Commerce]. The following are several key takeaways:

Qualifications are a measure of success not of suitability

Businesses must develop loyalty through investment in developing the new generation of workforce, this can be done through time and mentoring. The Education Providers must align the development of graduates hard [technical] skills and soft skills concurrently with closer collaboration and understanding of what businesses need.

… the skills agenda has a PR problem against the education agenda

The education agenda is being pushed not just be the educational league table / funding model mentality, but also by ‘family’ peer pressure for their children to go to University rather than college, and through lack of knowledge/awareness or all the options. Gone are the days were an apprenticeship was only for engineering/trades profession – accountancy and legal have them today.

The lack of practical skills in graduates [from schools, colleges and universities] is holding back businesses and the graduates

Never has it been more important to invest time in developing the weaknesses of future team leaders, supervisors, managers, etc… One way to help in this is to forget the ‘skills gap scaremongers’ and consider [seriously] those people who have transferable skills and abilities from other sectors/industries.

This approach has the strong potential to benefit everyone and help nurture a loyalty component and reduce issues around retention and values.

The old school approach  = replace people

new school approach = re-program people

There is a definite need for local businesses to work / liaise closer with education service providers to benefit everyone, and want to leave you with this:

Why Should we = Cost

needs to be changed to;

Why Not! = Investment

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