Last updated: 05.12.14

Plans to boost leadership and management skills in UK

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has announced its plans to invest in six pilot projects, which form part of a scheme to enhance the leadership and management skills in businesses across the country.

A recent report, entitled Growth Through People, was released by the UKCES last week in a bid to showcase the importance of improving productivity in the workplace. It stressed that exercising an effective management and leadership system is the key to career progression in the UK.

Government statistics show that 20 per cent of managerial positions are not filled due to a lack of skills. Those in the manufacturing, construction and legal services sectors suffer particularly from skill deficiencies. 

In the manufacturing sector, 26 per cent of managerial roles are unfilled, while in the construction industry, this figure stands at 31 per cent.

The UKCES' £875,000 investment into the new projects will be put towards developing innovative employer-led solutions to the long-standing economic skills shortage.

Each project is designed and led by six UK organisations in the manufacturing, construction and legal services industries. These include the Black Country Consortium, Action Sustainability, the University of Chester, Robert Woodhead, Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

Over the next 12 months, these organisations will work with their respective networks and supply chains to deliver the most effective strategies for boosting leadership and management skills.

Nigel Whitehead, BAE Systems Group managing director and lead commissioner for the UK Futures Programme competition that UKCES is running, said: "Giving employers the opportunity to develop their own solutions is so important, as we believe that the people who experience these skill deficiencies directly are best placed to develop solutions. Equally, by trialling six different approaches at the same time we are able to understand what does and doesn’t work in addressing these challenges.

"Collaborating with partners, and each other, to implement good management practices will produce more engaged and productive staff, and ensure that the UK’s industries can compete successfully in our global economy."