Employers can no longer rely on education to provide skills

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Employers are having to accept that they can't rely on educational institutions to provide them with enough talent to plug growing skills gaps, according to Kelly Services executive VP and COO George Corona.

Corona told HR magazine that due to challenges around an ageing workforce and the need for “more specialist” skills, employers are starting to accept that they will need to develop their own talent through increasing workplace training programmes.

“We have clients who have just figured out that the only way they’re going to meet their needs is to develop skills on their own,” he said. “So they’re having to develop their own training programmes.

“These are new concepts. Before, companies would rely on the government and school systems to be able to deliver this talent, but they just can’t any more.”

Kelly Services VP and MD, UK and Ireland, Gary Jones told HR magazine the problem is particularly acute in the UK. 

We have more opportunities now than we do jobseekers,” he explained. “When we go to graduate fairs we almost have to pull graduates by the ears to drag them in, because they can be very, very choosy.”

Corona cited the trimming down of HR departments during the recession as another reason bringing in skills is now more difficult.

“Now you have teams without as much knowledge of recruitment, so they’re having to go externally for help,” he said. 

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