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Last updated: 08.04.14

Managing redundancy with training schemes

Redundancy has, unfortunately, become a standard part of the employment landscape for innumerable people in the past six years. The reality is that there are few businesses today that will not need to consider redundancy for various members of staff at some point or other.

The important thing for managers to remember is that, while job losses may ultimately be necessary for the health of the business, there is a very human cost attached to them. 

For this reason, more emphasis is being placed on how to correctly manage redundancy, which means minimising the impact that making a role redundant within in an organisation will have on staff.

In some cases, it will be the case that employees whose roles are made redundant will be suitable for a different role within the organisation - and employers may offer "suitable alternative employment" if it is available. However, there will be many instances where staff being made redundant do not have the requisite skills - or alternatively, there just aren't any openings.

In both of these cases, employability training can be used by businesses as a cost-effective approach to managing redundancy - either with the aim of retaining staff in a new role or in helping their transition into a job somewhere else. Virtual College will soon be releasing a suite of employability training programmes designed to help individuals find work, keep their jobs and adapt to new roles.

Whether you're searching for industry specific courses that will equip staff with the expertise to perform a new function, or help in improving soft skills such as confidence, self-esteem and communication in the workplace, pursuing such an approach can make a big positive impact for what is a relatively small cost.

The most important things when it comes to redundancy are honesty, transparency and clear communication. Providing employability on part of the process of managing redundancy - including things such as CV writing and interviewing techniques - can create goodwill and help ensure that staff leave on good terms.

Such an approach is being taken by councils in Yorkshire, which are looking to provide training as part of the support on offer to hundreds of mineworkers facing redundancy in Wakefield, Selby and North Yorkshire. During what will be an 18-month "managed closure" at collieries in the region, some 700 workers will be provided with retraining.