Should SMEs apply more focus to up-skilling existing employees in a bid for growth?

Hiring specialist workers into a business can often be a very expensive process and in many cases there are already those within the organisation with the skill sets required.


Often, a little bit of training is all that is needed which can cut the costs of a long, drawn out interview process, freeing up staff to focus elsewhere.


In SMEs, these restructuring measures can have a huge influence on the company budget and can go some of the way to driving success.


While recruitment drives are fantastic for getting people in to work and away from unemployment, those already in employment should not be forgotten.


Some companies are choosing to focus on trying to make their staff the best of the best, which has many benefits including making the whole workforce more flexible.


The value of encouraging up-skilling


As a result, workers can hold down many different positions within a company if required and can fill in any gaps as and when other staff members are unavailable.


Employers in the UK aerospace, automotive, defence and marine industries have been working with Semta UK to bring together their supply chain companies to advise them on what skills and technological investments are required.


The Transforming Skills and Productivity of Supply Chain project runs until March 2014, by which point around 20,000 SME supply chain businesses will have reached, or be on their way to world class standard.


Upon its completion, 25,000 employees will have enhanced skills highlighting the importance of up-skilling as well recruitment.


Employees within a company are likely to have a greater understanding of how the company runs and of the ethics that it tries to aspire towards.


Furthermore, existing employees can often be easily moulded into new roles which are likely to be far more beneficial to the companies concerned.


It would appear that a joint focus needs to be placed on both recruiting new talent and on ensuring existing talent is trained to the highest standard.


This should lead to a more competitive job market as individuals will be capable of a multitude of roles, while it means staff can move between roles more often as they have the necessary skills to be able to do so.


By Phil Smith


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