Thought Leadership: Investing in skills at every level is of benefit to everyone, says Peter Hawes

Peter Hawes, Norse Commercial Services.

Peter Hawes, Norse Commercial Services. - Credit: Archant

With the great diversity of skills-needs which we have within Suffolk, the concept that investing in the development of expertise, whatever the skill level, will benefit everyone might seem alien to a number of employers.

The high cost of training, particularly in specialist skill roles, may well tempt some to say it is just too expensive in case the employee qualified at their expense moves on.

Yet it is such skills that could quite possibly make the difference between a merely surviving business and a successful business.

Successful businesses will be the ones that, through their own growth, provide further employment opportunities in areas where other talents and abilities are needed; aptitudes that may well have been developed at another firms’ costs. Thus a larger pool of local skills at all levels will almost certainly benefit the wider employment market: what goes around comes around.

Training the next generation of employees and managers is without question often more financially justifiable for larger business.


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These companies need to recognise that, even where opportunities may not ultimately exist within their own business, the skilled workforce that migrates to the wider market locally can help smaller enterprises deliver more efficient, better quality and greater cost competitive services to larger firms such as themselves.

Conversely, the skills acquired in small and medium sized businesses can represent a resource that can be developed further by larger businesses, where opportunities to develop wider and deeper experience may exist.

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This “imported” developing pool of talent in turn may well, via increased competitiveness, help the large organisation back-feed greater demand to other, smaller businesses in the supply chain.

Whether it is by offering youth apprenticeships, NVQs, BTECs or encouraging professional qualifications, investment in vocational training for employees is usually ultimately of benefit to any organisation.

: : Peter Hawes is managing director of Norse Commercial Services.

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