Hertfordshire Business Skills Gaps Survey 2014-15
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been formed in England to help local areas determine the type and level of support needed to suit the needs of their local economies. In Hertfordshire LEP’s recent report entitled ‘Perfectly Placed for Business: Hertfordshire’s draft Strategic Economic Plan’ they suggested that Hertfordshire has underperformed since the 2000s . One element of this under-performance is the productivity of businesses linked to their staff’s skills gaps. The purpose of the Hertfordshire Business Skills Gap Survey (HBSGS) was to explore the understanding of Hertfordshire businesses skills gaps and their perceived causes, the impact these are having on the respective businesses performance, and the actions they have or are taking to address these. Over 78% of HBSGS respondents acknowledged that one or more of their staff were in need of training in the current year. The most common reason given was staff newness to the role or they had not fully completed their initial job training. Many employees admitted that staff could take up to two years to reach full proficiency. Other reasons given were the introduction of new technology, the launch of new products & services, and/or introduction of new working practices. The top three skills gap areas common across Managers, Professionals and Associate Professionals, Administrative & Clerical staff were in job related skills (technical and practical), general skills (oral and written communications), and IT related skills (basic and advanced). Importantly, the reported impact of these skills gaps was the delay in the introduction of new products and services, increased workload to existing proficient staff, and decreased productivity. The three most common actions taken to address these skills gaps were training, redefinition of staff roles and responsibilities, and/or the recruitment of new staff. Interestingly, over 45% of the HBSGS respondents indicated that they had over qualified staff, whose skills and qualifications were above that required for the current role. In conclusion, over 77% of HBSGS respondents reported having both a training plan and budget to address staff skills gaps, and were attempting to address these issues, the remaining 23% are of a concern.