Open-access content 11th October 2010
Skill training is fundamental to the success of employment, productivity and economic growth, says Valerie Everitt, professional standards and education director at the BIFM
14 October 2010
Skills are vital to our economy… we need urgent action if we are to retain our competitiveness and make progress in the future”. This is the central theme of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) consultation on the future direction of skills policy. And the consultation goes on to place, at the heart of future policy, the belief that employers and learners need access to good information about the value of different types of learning, what it might help them achieve and what will best suit their requirements.
A skilled workforce as part of a learning society is fundamental to employment, productivity and economic growth. But given the build up to the October Spending Review and tough economic climate, expectations as to how much the coalition government will be willing to support investment in training and development are bound to be limited.
There are, however, some promising signs. The BIS Joint Investment Programme has already released limited but welcome funding for FM qualifications at Level 3 and 4 and there are hopes that a second tranche of funding will be available for 2011. There is also a strong commitment to supporting apprenticeships. With their blend of theoretical and practical learning, they are seen as essential in qualifying people for a wide range of technician, associate professional and advanced skilled jobs.
It’s good news that vocational qualifications are really gaining ground as part of a comprehensive and coherent education framework. Employers are increasingly recognising that they offer a good return on investment in a relatively short time frame. And learners value them because of their practical application in the workplace and the significant boost they can give to personal confidence, external credibility and earning power.
For those working in more senior roles, it’s also worth taking stock and seeing what’s available to help support career progression and transition. In a crowded job market, it’s vital to differentiate yourself from the competition and having a higher level qualification in facilities management can do just that. The BIFM’s new suite of professional qualifications offers a flexible and practical opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the workplace. There is also a good range of higher education provision.
Whether you’re looking at development from a personal, team or organisational perspective, make sure you factor in time to review the options and consider how investment in improving knowledge and skills will give you the competitive edge for sustainable growth and prosperity. It will be good for the economy too.