Growth through people "the only option"

25 November 2014 -

“Focus on employees”

CMI welcomes launch of new initiative to boost employee skills through collaboration between industry, government and specialist bodies

Jermaine Haughton

British businesses must put greater focus on supporting their biggest asset, their workforce, to drive the UK economy into a brighter future, CMI said following the release of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) report this morning.

Titled Growth Through People, the study argues greater collaboration between employers, professional bodies and the government in raising employee skills and training is needed in order to help more workers reach their potential, climb the career ladder and provide the productivity and innovation which UK businesses need.

Petra Wilton, CMI’s director of strategy, welcomed the report’s findings, adding that businesses have no choice but to adopt a management culture that focuses on nurturing talent.

“Today’s UKCES report is right to focus on the critical need for UK businesses to drive up their productivity,” she said. “We strongly agree that management and leadership skills are key to unlocking the potential of people.”

“Yet we need to do much more to help people understand how they can climb the career ladder into professional jobs. We should be raising standards and aspirations together. By working with the professional bodies, the government could do far more to promote Chartered status as part of the skills agenda, and give individuals a real sense of purpose as they start climbing the ladder towards becoming a recognised professional.”

“Indeed, the trailblazer apprenticeship for management and leadership – which CMI is helping to develop with the government and leading employers – has the potential to offer a valued route to becoming a professional Chartered Manager. This will be a great new work-based opportunity for those who are looking to earn as they learn.”

In addition to pointing to increased productivity as the best way to increase pay and prosperity, the UKCES report also urged authorities to consider ‘earning and learning’ programmes as the gold standard in vocational education, as it allows educators and employers to prepare people properly for work.

Earlier this year, CMI published its Management 2020 report, which encouraged businesses and public-sector organisations to build their long-term prospects by embracing their social purpose rather than concentrating solely on financial targets.

As Wilton explains, both the reports act as an important reminder to managers that growth can’t be achieved without putting the interests of their staff first.

“UKCES has echoed many key findings from the Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership report (Management 2020), which showed that we’ve got to change management cultures. We need businesses to focus far more on their purpose, their people and their potential. This means making management and leadership more open, with more transparent reporting from businesses about their people. As the report notes, the Valuing your Talent framework, which is backed by CMI, helps businesses to better measure and report on the value of their people. People aren’t just the biggest assets to a business: they’re the assets that create all the others. Today’s report is a reminder that improving how we manage these assets is our only option for growth.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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