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Unless you talk to your employees how will you know what their skills are? It can be easy to overestimate or underestimate their competencies and knowledge. Do you know their career aspirations? How do they match with your own goals for the business? How can you bring these ambitions into mutual alignment?
Employees can suffer poor commitment if they feel ignored or undervalued. You’ll motivate and retain staff by showing them you are interested in their progression. You might be happy with them doing the job they’re doing, but are they? Talk about ways to address their goals. What specifically do they want to do? Make sure they have a detailed plan rather than vague hopes. Are their aims achievable within your organisation?
Employees are often the best people to evaluate their own skills level. Let them identify their weaknesses and strengths in a non-judgemental environment. This should be an open dialogue. You don’t want them to feel as if they have to justify themselves. It’s about positive support. Do they have the solution for their own skills objectives?
When you’ve figured out where the gaps are you’ll need to decide how to fill them, through new hires, training or additional support for your employees. When it comes to individuals, can you train them up within your business or will you need outside help? What’s involved: mentoring, work shadowing, a new qualification or just additional responsibility to stretch their capabilities? Remember to factor in any periods of absence. Create a timeframe so they can see and mark their own progress.
Download the SCQF employer's guide for step-by-step guidance on recruitment, training, recognising your organisation's skills needs and choosing development opportunities for your workforce.
The SCQF can also help you gain recognition for your own in-house training programmes, raising the profile of your organisation and attracting skilled employees.
Once you are comfortable with the basics, download the employer levelling tool to help you develop effective job specifications.
Along with support materials, this guide shows you how to assess what education level, skills and knowledge are needed for a job role. As well as making the recruitment process simpler, this will help you decide on training and development activities for specific roles.
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Skills Survey is a helpful resource looking at issues from vacancies, skills shortages and skills gaps to training and staff development.
The survey was last carried out in 2015. The results show that in that year, employers in Scotland were more likely to have provided training for their staff than employers elsewhere in the UK. The survey delves deep into training and skills trends, identifying skills gaps in the workforce and more.
The fully funded consultancy service provides you with a detailed action plan that makes recommendations on ways to improve your skills base.
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Apprenticeships are an exciting way to help address skills gaps in your business and invigorate your workplace with fresh, enthusiastic talent.