UK falling behind other leading global economies

Posted: Thursday, 2 May 2024 @ 11:52

A recent report from CMI highlights a significant gap in management skills within the UK workforce, placing it behind other leading global economies. The UK currently ranks sixth, falling behind the US, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Canada.


So what is a skills gap?

A skills gap is defined as the disparity between the skills that employers need and those possessed by current employees or prospective employees in the job market. Skills gaps exist in a range of sectors and disciplines including HGV drivers, tech and project management. Indeed a study by the Association of Project Management of their members found one in eight project managers believe the skills gap is getting worse.

The gap in leadership and management is also concerning. People are often promoted based on great technical abilities, however, lack the managerial skills, confidence and know how to be effective in a leadership role.

A recent report from the World Management Survey analysed the different sources of data and information about management and the UK labour market and determined:

  • The UK needs 10% more management job adverts to require high level management skills if it is to close the gap with the world’s most productive economies.
  • The UK will need to recruit or upskill to develop over 120,000 extra managers by 2030.
  • Data suggests the UK’s health sector in particular is undervaluing skilled managers, in comparison to other sectors.

How can we tackle the skills gap?

The short answer is by focussing on developing the skills the economy will require, through upskilling, mentoring, training and professional development. However, this is a macro view.

By identifying skills gaps early in your business will enable you to develop a competitive edge: Good managers increase productivity by up to 15% (World Management Survey) and engagement by 21% (Gallup) in turn reducing employee turnover and job satisfaction. Increased training and progression opportunities are also cited as one of the top considerations when seeking a new job role. Developing an effective people function is key to attracting and retaining top talent, that bring the skills your organisation need to thrive in an ever-changing market.

Why apprenticeships are the way to go?

Whilst professional qualifications have their place, Apprenticeship Standards are developed by employers and designed to provide employees with the in-demand skills employers are seeking. They focus on equipping the learner with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to enhance organisational capabilities and support individuals in their careers.

Intec's apprenticeship programmes in leadership & management are delivered in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute provide employees with the frameworks and theories to support their role and have been proven to be effective in building confidence in people of all ages and experience: Our Apprentice of the Year 2024, Mel White, who was promoted to a Senior Customer Care Co-ordinator role whilst studying her Team Leader Programme, had this to say;

'I was unsure about enrolling on the programme at first, being the oldest one on the cohort made me feel that this was a little beyond me and my capabilities, and I should leave this type of thing to the “young ones”.

 If I could give advice to any mature people that are considering an apprenticeship, I would shout I from the rooftops and say, ‘go for it’ be resilient and remember you’re never old to learn (and thrive!)'

By utilising the power of apprenticeships, you can upskill your workforce to support your organisation through these difficult times. Rising business costs mean that many organisations are turning inwards to develop their talent pipelines rather than recruiting from outside. This move not only has financial benefits but also provides employees with the career development and progression opportunities they’re seeking, boosting job satisfaction, employee retention and creating stronger, more resilient organisations.

Intec Business Colleges is getting ready to launch our latest Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 cohort (enrol by 22nd of June). If you would like to find out more, please contact us!