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Ramsey Hall & The OPG are frequently seeing leadership and talent projects being reduced in scope or cancelled because of budget restraints. This is despite GDP growth figures out yesterday (25th October 2017) showing +0.4% on the last quarter. Indeed, at present investment in vocational skills in the UK is just half that of our European competitors.

The Chancellor of The Exchequer predicts innovation will drive growth but how will this be achieved in the current economy? He also admits that much of the job creation in recent years is not high quality. In his mini podcast (25th October 2017) he extolled the importance of high skills job creation: a ‘pipe dream’ given the way organisations are now going.  Other commentators have, rightly, linked low productivity with poor management and a lack of investment in people. Also hurting are reductions in capital expenditure and in the development of long term capacity.   The truth is that UK PLC is inexorably heading towards a skills crisis.  This is especially apparent in the construction sector and in a number of engineering & technology disciplines. Skills imported from abroad are masking a looming post Brexit squeeze on people availability especially as border controls tighten.

Moreover, poor employee engagement fuels poor productivity as the all-important, ‘discretionary behaviours’ are not evidenced.

Time to empower HR

Ramsey Hall & The OPG believes that, critically, organisations need both to invest in strategic HR leadership and to empower HR leaders to kick start investment in people. We still see organisations who do not even have an HR department, let alone a plan to develop their own talent! At the same time leaders need to invest in technology and new product development.  A two-pronged approach to making sure the UK’s future is not reduced to being a backwater country on the edge of Europe.  Surely UK business owes this country its loyalty and confidence? Or will short term thinking cause real damage?

Matthew Davis is an expert Consultant in the skills and leadership arena. He regularly advises organisations on all aspects of capability and performance. He is contactable at medavis@ramseyhall.com or on 02380 236944.

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