Upskilling could be the key to filling crucial roles image

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Upskilling could be the key to filling crucial roles

Written by Erica Bassford, Head of Aspire, LI Europe Ltd

Despite Brexit uncertainty, UK unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975, and the latest CIPD poll shows that ‘British businesses are still hiring and competing fiercely for talent’. The survey states that over 40% of businesses are finding it more difficult to fill roles than in previous years.

With these figures in mind, what are you doing to secure talent for now and the future?

Many businesses don’t have the luxury of being able to offer improved pay and attractive benefits packages to attract new blood. Even those that can offer higher financial rewards will often find that such hygiene factors are not motivators, so will only work as a short-term fix at best. Employees now are looking for more than just a competitive salary. They want to work for companies that invest in their training and development too.

Apprenticeship schemes can be an effective method of attracting and developing future talent. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy means this could also be a very cost-effective route for some manufacturing businesses.

However, apprenticeships are a longer-term investment and can’t be relied on as the sole method for growing an effective workforce. You need the benefit of experience too.

Don’t underestimate the impact of upskilling your current workforce. Offering the right development provides a win-win solution. Employees gain new skills and improved job variety while delivering hands-on activity for the business.

Upskilling your existing employees will not only help you address immediate skills shortages, it will also benefit the long-term future of your business. Your workforce will feel more motivated, more valued and more invested in the success of the business. Employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity – the more engaged your employees are, the more productive they will be. And, because you are investing in your employees, you’ll be more likely to retain your best people.

There are so many different levels of upskilling, knowing where to start can be a minefield, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can assist you in upskilling operators, managers and Continuous Improvement Leads.

Using tools such as our OPEN audit and a skills matrix will enable you to identify where the gaps are in your business and put a strategy in place to address those gaps.

We can also provide training and certification for all levels of Lean and Six Sigma, not only teaching the methodologies but also embedding them into your business.

We work with you to develop continuous improvement strategies that fit with your overall business strategy. Having the right processes in place is only half the story – you need the right people too; our goal is to help you achieve both.

Learn more about how to maximise your existing workforce and build an effective team.

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This is the best I’ve seen this line run…I never thought we’d be able to get it up to this speed.

Operator – Bakery

Before LI came we were a family run company and things had been done the same way for a hundred years. There was a lot of apprehension but the LI team had such a great way with people they won us over. People took to them. LI were great for our company and the systems they introduced are still in place.

Lesley Kercheval, Production Manager, KR Castlemaine