Thursday, 3 November 2011

CBI & Middlesex University IWBL, Barnado's Report Conference "Getting the UK working"

The original foundation of St Giles in 1101 was for a Leper hospital and chapel, which was known as the St Giles Hospital - St Giles being the patron saint of outcasts (ie the saint has a special concern for the care of those separated from the community).
In the UK, almost one million young people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed, with most of these neither in education nor training.

View spire of St Giles in the Fields Church London, through the windows from Centre Point CBI Conference centre. St Giles also acts as muster point in case of a fire

Many people in UK have indicated that they have given up on children a report commisioned by Charity Barnado's has revealed today NOv 3rd.

It shows that nearly half the UK population (49 per cent) agree that children today are beginning to behave like animals.

ICM Research whose strap line clear thinking  in a complex world  reveals that the UK public holds a negative view of all children, despite the majority being well behaved, attending school, taking part in activities and a significant number contributing to their communities and volunteering.

The findings also show:
  • 44 per cent agree that children in this country are becoming feral
  • Nearly half (47 per cent) agree that the trouble with young people is that they’re angry, violent and abusive
  • one in four (25 per cent) of people think that children who behave badly or anti-socially are beyond help by the age of 10
  • more people disagreed with the statement that children who get into trouble are in need of help (38 per cent) than agreed (36 per cent).
What might this say of future entrants into the workplace?

They could be viewed in a modern sense as potentially 'separated from the community.'

 Regrettably few one might imagine would see their patron being saint as St Giles.

What can be done about this?  What are the implications for the future for Selling and Business and the world of work?

Middlesex University – Institute Work Based Learning( IWBA) hosted an event “ Getting the UK Working” at the CBI’s conference centre at Centre Point , New Oxford Street, London on November 2nd.
Prof Michael Driscoll Vice Chancellor Middlesex University opening the conference

The Institute for work based learning of Middlesex University defines work-based learning as:

Learning that provides a flexible learning experience that is delivered

through work,

in work,

for work 

Professor Jonathan Garnett, Dean of the Institute for Work Based Learning set out the objectives of the day in the programme as

·         To inform business leaders of the latest developments on enhancing skills & learning in the UK

·         To share and inform latest CBI and academic research on the UK workforce

·         To examine ways of dealing with the employment and skills mismatch

·         To suggest ideas on nurturing talent to drive business forward

·         To identify and debate how organisations are currently working to improve productivity.

The first Keynote speech was delivered by Jim Bligh, Principal Policy Advisor Employee Relations and Pensions, CBI,

In his speech he selected some of the most pertinent material from the Getting the UK working – CBI Report for the audience. He streesed the Young Briton Credit

 Yet even in these tough times, jobs are being created across the private sector. The stark reality according to the CBI is that too few of our unemployed people – especially among the young – are positioned to get these jobs.
This outcome is a function of :-

· poor guidance and advice,
· shortage of business understanding

· and lack of skills.
The CBI's report on Action for Jobs - Getting UK working

1.      How can schools can get people ready for the world of work ?

2.      Improving the position of young people in the jobs market.

3.      Ensuring it pays to find a job .

Based on extensive consultation with business leaders and written evidence from more than 100 organisations, the CBI have identified three broad areas in which businesses and government could work together to make real progress.

Learning the ropes:

how schools can get people ready for the world of work

+ A new standard should be developed for schools that allow them to achieve "Employability School" status, with funding linked to this.

+ The Department for Education must maintain the statutory right to work experience for all 14-16 year-olds in England.

+ Government and business should work together to identify, in each local area, someone from the business community who will take responsibility for organising and encouraging business-school links.

+ Businesses and schools should work together to give teachers a better understanding of work through exchange schemes.

+ A new unified national careers site should be set up. It should be government-hosted but business-led, with high levels of involvement from the web and social media sector in its design and roll out to ensure it is effective.

Making the first year count: improving the position of young people in the jobs market

+ A Young Britain Credit (YBC) should be created – a refund payment in lieu of employers’ NI paid when a young person has spent a year in work.

+ Youth rates of the NMW (applying to anyone under 21) should be frozen for the next year and until the bite of the wage has fallen by at least 10% against the median wage for the age group across the economy.

+ Colleges and businesses should work together to develop effective pre-apprenticeship programmes that will allow those with poor skills to take up training opportunities.

+ From January 2012, more employers should be encouraged to take on young people via ‘employed young persons’ one-year apprenticeships.

From welfare to employment: ensuring it pays to find a job

+ A comprehensive ‘readiness for work’ assessment should be introduced at Job Centre Plus for every claimant, based on the model of Australia’s Job Seekers’ Classification Instrument (JSCI).

+ Individuals identified as having significant ‘barriers to work’ in the JSCI could be referred to the Work Programme early.

+ Benefit claims to be suspended, not cancelled, when someone initially takes a job.

+ The structure of benefit payments can be matched more closely with the reality of how employees are paid by:

– Reviewing how – and how frequently – JSA claimants report to Job Centre Plus on their job search activity and how to help them reflect on their progress – a tick-box routine does little good.

– Requiring claimants after three months of receiving benefits to apply for any suitable vacancies identified for them by the job centre.

– Expanding schemes such as Mandatory Work Activity to more people, helping them build employability skills and confidence and contributing to local communities.

+ Training units must be more widely recognised and funded.

+ Colleges should offer more short courses for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, with funding streams aligned to them via payments linked to employment outcomes.

+ Community Budgets should be rolled out across the UK as soon as possible

Colin Kemp , Network Director, Halifax Community Bank giving the audience an 'ugly' wake up call of the realities of business and learning.

Colin was refreshingly direct even though as he explained to the audience what he was expressing was an ‘ugly truth’. What he said was both a reality check, blunt and yet most inspiring when mentioning the success of Halifax scheme winning their qualifications.

Business is constrained by cost. It must show returns to shareholders. " We are not here to train the world !"

Colin slides also summarised what employers are looking for from L & D work based learning and other training interactions in terms of ROI. Colin has sponsored the work based learning activities for over 1,300 Halifax managers.

To make this scheme work full commitment from the top of the organisation must be given Colin advised. The sponsor should be visible in regular company communications. There needs to be frequent internal recognition through company newsletters etc. Constant announcements through the website so it all becomes what you talk about.

Paul Mackie, MRICS, Chairman, Rex Procter & Partners taking a drink after his passionate keynote address.

Getting the UK Working - The Rex Procter approach for ROI

Paul’s speech covered the story of his organisation over the last few years and the tough decisions as a leader he has had to take in order for his group to not merely survive in changing circumstances but thrive. Work based learning and people development being one of the keys to success.
His “Bradford  pride” was subtly balanced with an honestly humble ,simple yet tough approach to business.  

Jon Thorn, Employer Services Director, National Apprenticeship Service

Jon gave an update of how the modern apprenticeships were progressing after two years under the coalition Government’s time.
£1,4 billion has been invested in National Apprenticeships. The scene has changed radically from just few years ago.

There is no age limit for Apprenticeships. There are over 1,100 organisations who provide NAS with a network of providers of training for programmes at three levels . 2, 3, 4.

The conference then split up into workshops on Talent management, Leadership, Apprenticeship, Workforce development ( WBL and accreditation) and Growing Your sales.

After Lunch Philip Squire presented the story of his firm Consalia’s venture into developing into a  niche but global provider.

In the Sales  workshop highlighted their research into what selling should focus upon.

  • Elevating the customer experience
  • Unlocking your "cupboard"  ie sell your client your capabilities
  • Show how you can drive value to the Client's customers
  • Be proactive and innovative
  • Work with clients in a spirit of collaboration
Quoting research from Forester only 5-10% of Clients feel salespeople are any good. Philp said that CEOs rate their sales team as 'C-'  some 12-18 months behind companystrategy

This session was followed by a panel led discussion on Employment and skills mismatch with questions .The panel comprised  of many of the speakers from the morning plus Mags Thomas, Senior HR Director Toshiba, Sharon Kelly HR Director ,Mitsubishi and Ian Moss Head of Leadership Academy EDF Energy

There was then a final round of workshops followed by a short plenary session and speech of thanks from John Garnett.

The formal part of the conference finished and many then adjourned to All bar one for networking and a libation.

From TACK International’s research study on Sales Leadership conducted on line during the late summer the age distribution for the sample of Salespeople was as follows

Salespeople respondents
Up to 25          5%
26-35              40%
36-45              36%
46-55              17%
56-65               2%
65+                   0           
When I presented the data to an executive forum of the ISMM in Cheadle last month I asked for views why they thought the number of  respondents in the up to 25 year group was so low.
Perhaps it was due to less recruitment of young sales talent and the attendant investment in training in the recession. Maybe graduate sales intake entering the sales profession were not entering full time work before they were 25 years old
For a free executive summary of the TACK Sales Leadership Survey 2011
The age profile of the respondents of Sales Managers more obviously had few in the up to 25 category and then showed a logical career path in time.
For many industries who enjoyed 18 years of stable growth the challenges for Sales managers in those sectors who themselves had only sold in boom times are considerable. In some ways they indicate a mismatch of skills and experience.
How do they lead their teams when they may have had no experience in selling in tougher times?
Up to 25 1%
26-35 13%
36-45 56%
46-55 25%
56-65 5%
65+ 0
This possible indication of unpreparedness  of new recruits for the world of sales work and the mismatch of skills and experience for new sales managers prompted me to attend the getting the UK Working conference. It was a very worthwhile day.

Related Links and Contact Information

CBI - The voice of business

Action for Jobs report

CBI Conference on November 21st 2011 Grosvenor House .

"Accelerating growth  -breaking and entering new markets2

Institute for Work Based Learning

Middlesex University T: 020 8411 5050 W:

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