Last updated: 16.02.13

Businesses 'must invest in internal training initiatives'

For businesses to succeed in 2013, it is crucial they invest in internal training programmes that are in line with the company's goals.

This is according to Scott Barnes, chief executive of Grant Thornton, who said by developing their employees, firms "will be able to deliver on strategy, innovation and ultimately, growth".

However, this is likely to prove difficult for bosses as the expert noted organisations are still struggling to recruit for roles requiring technical skills.

Recent research carried out by the company found this shortage of talent is a problem all across the European Union, with 68 per cent of employers questioned stating it is a significant recruitment challenge.

The Grant Thornton International Business Report further revealed more than one-third (38 per cent) of UK businesses are having difficulties finding workers with the right skillset. Nearly one-fifth also said they expect their plans for growth in 2013 to be affected by a shortage of talented employees.

Staff retention is becoming an increasing problem for British firms, with the publication reporting that 19 per cent of organisations believe the issue has contributed to a loss of trade or orders to competitors, as well as an increase in operating costs (28 per cent) and an inflated workload for workers (40 per cent).

With these findings showing that a lack of a skilled workforce is set to have a negative impact upon the UK industry in the coming year, it may be wise for managers to assess the ways in which they can roll out cost-effective training that is not going to take up too much of their time.

An option they could turn to is online learning, as the solution is cheaper than organising training sessions for large groups of employees and staff can access the resources in their spare time, instead of during working hours.

Virtual College is a trusted e-learning provider that is sure to help companies get their workforce back on track, as the institution offers virtual learning in a range of areas, from Equality and Diversity to Principles of Personal Responsibilities and Working in a Business Environment.