The system is broken | the HRD

Brexit and the pandemic are just the latest “excuses” for the attraction and retention problems employers have faced for years. And, frankly, immigration has been the fig leaf that has covered up the inadequacy of employability, skills and the education system.

This system is broken – the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility said the system was the problem in 2014. It also found that character and resilience were key determinants of social mobility. The UK spends billions of pounds each year on complex funding and schemes that serve neither the individual nor the employer. It keeps those in the system working but, even when they know it could be done better, they have little or no influence to change it.

We envision an unprecedented level of needed systemic change, but has anyone verified that the people we seek to elicit and implement – civil servants and politicians – have the permission, capacity and competence for the To do ?

A few years ago the INLOGOV (Institute of Local Government Studies) did some excellent research on what goes on beyond the nudge theory. They saw the need to change the thinking and behaviors of professionals before they could affect service users. And moreover, for anything to change, the reason must be strong enough. A senior business leader summed it up perfectly when he told me recently, “I totally agree with you, but this stuff is in the box too hard. You’re dealing with people who don’t want a solution, and the company wants to deal with people who want a solution.

So who owns it and how do we do it?

More of the same
The Leveling Up white paper has just been published – with hardly any fanfare – and we have been waiting two years for the Shared Prosperity Fund, replacing the European Social Fund, to address labor market challenges. Can companies wait that long? What is the delay?

What is still missing is a high-quality training offer that provides a paradigm shift in confidence, motivation, attitude and resilience alongside recruiting “know-how”. Focusing on the needs of employers and individuals works, but too few organizations understand how to do this beyond the scope of a contract. Trying to buy it is unnecessarily complicated and its availability should be much easier and more accessible. With more than a million vacancies, we need serious and fast solutions.

In my experience, however, the people tasked (directly or inadvertently) with this change don’t know how to do it. This is not a criticism because it is very complex things, but it is a reality. And that means they have to go looking for trouble, which is not what they’re used to doing.

But what if we expect ministers and others in charge of this work to correct entire government departments when there is nothing in their track records to suggest that is their competence? ? We set them up to fail.

More bullshit than conspiracy?
Senior officials and special advisers tell me privately that they can’t disagree with a word I said, or that they “think it’s more bullshit than conspiracy.”

In successful collaboration with stakeholders over several years – including job seekers, employers, funders and suppliers – I developed a five-step solution. From the initial point of acknowledging something needs to change, to highlighting it, to activating and facilitating the change needed to deliver high performance incremental change for staff, stakeholders, partners and businesses.

But, if ministers and senior officials are not aware that there is a problem, they will not act. And if they do, and still don’t act, it needs to be fixed and here’s why. When you have an immigrant workforce with a strong work ethic, whose main objective is to earn as much money as possible to make a better life for themselves in the UK or in their home country when they return , employers hold all the cards. When you don’t have that, you’re going to have to start asking people what is the life and career they want? This often requires highly skilled facilitation, including helping people understand their motivations and motivations, the types of roles and careers available, and the steps to get there.

Hidden Agendas
But where do you go for good career advice? If you have money, that’s fine, but if you don’t, there’s nothing – or nothing – that doesn’t have an agenda (like needing to have bums to fill a program) that turns you into a learning outcome to tap into funding.

In the meantime, we have a large number of people stuck in a system that does not serve them. They can’t land a job, their confidence is gone, the hole in their resume seems insurmountable, companies don’t have time to try their luck, and they’re focused on surviving. Beyond that, you have whole sections of people who are not even registered with the jobcentre (economically inactive) and therefore cannot claim any help. A bad offer keeps people trapped in the system and not progressing to work instead of helping them improve their lives while meeting the needs of business, society and the economy.

The government talks about leveling up, but we know there is little substance. Business needs to help and that includes being a critical friend and maybe starting to hold Whitehall to account.

Let’s start with some incremental steps and surely the senior HR community should play a central role here? They understand change, where it is needed and what can be achieved when done well. They can see the need and talk to their business leaders, talk to politicians and have their needs met by the system.

Government wants and needs businesses to succeed. Companies must want their employees to succeed. Everyone wants society to succeed and the more inclusive society is, including economically, the more everyone gains. Let’s empower people to win rather than fail.