There is a skills shortage. It’s a fact, and we need to live with it. For some industries, it primarily means holes in the management at the top level, for others, it means missing key specialists for specific development or research, for some, it means a wider spread of semi-skilled workers propping up the workforce, and for many, a mixture of these or some other issue. Whatever the scenario and whatever the industry - the fact is it exists.
The press seems to be continually gnawing at this bone, and everyone from the top down seems to have an opinion. It’s obvious that there are issues to be dealt with at a national level. Factors such as effective feeding of skilled young people into industry and the development support available from national government, for example, are probably issues that need to be addressed. Whatever the causes and cures, the skills shortage is not going to vanish overnight, and there needs to be a long-term effort to start to reduce and eventually fill the gap.
In the short term, though, industry sectors, and the people like ourselves that supply companies with staff, need to deal with the situation on the ground. While the great and the good look to long-term overhauls of the system, we have no choice but to deal with the issues as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The real bottom line is that while we are waiting for the grand changes to filter through, business goes on an, the big picture is probably not that high on your agenda.
One area where we feel this issue can be tackled is through continued development of existing potential and current candidates. Here at 24-7 Staffing we believe that this, combined with a good understanding of the needs of our clients, the desire to help our candidates develop themselves, and a specialist approach to the industries we deal with all works towards the supply of appropriate staff.
If you take as an example our work with the health care industry, you can see how we are working to develop our candidates to meet the needs of the sector. For some recruitment agencies, a ‘best fit’ option is an unfortuante approach and only seems a temporary solution. For us however, development and training are more likely to produce results that deliver long term solutions for both our clients and candidates.
The Care Academy is one of the ways we are working towards this where we aim to train people who have a genuine interest in health care and teach them both practical on the job skills as well as the theory that supports the work they do. By working with our clients, we can identify their needs and provide a free training opportunity for our candidates. This process gives our clients peace of mind that we can supply continuously developing, well-rounded and skilled candidates.
By taking this approach we can start to make real headway in closing the skills gap for our healthcare clients and improve the pool of skilled healthcare workers within the local community.
Perhaps we are seeing this too simply, but it seems to us that improving and developing staff the way employers need is fundamental to bridging the skills gap. So, while the debate rages on at the national scale, we will continue to try to deal with it where we can being really effective, at the local level.