The Groundsman

February 2015

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GROW WITH THE IOG 24 the Groundsman February 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions he basis for the question is not new, with the National Audit Office stating in 2005 that "more employers in England need to be persuaded of the value to their businesses of employment-related education and skills training" [1]. Communicating the benefits is possibly not something which some training providers and government initiatives have fully succeeded with as the message has certainly not reached all quarters. However, there are some obvious benefits, taken from industry research, highlighted below: Why the need for a skilled workforce? 1. To address change in the workplace and respond to drivers of change, ie. including pesticide application; water management; new technologies 2. To see a positive return on the investment, especially through improved staff retention rates or productivity 3. To engage with social responsibility, integrating a business as part of one or more communities [2] [3]. Employer benefits of investing in staff education and training It is difficult to directly correlate a return on investment with increased productivity, but this is the key area most employers initially focus on. So what tangible evidence is there to support the perceived benefit? One report from 2010 cited an estimate for European countries as showing "that a 1 per cent increase in training days leads to a 3 per cent increase in productivity, and that the share of overall productivity growth attributable to training is around 16 per cent." [4] This is the type of statement that focuses the attention of an employer as they can then start to analyse the T Education and training: Why bother? This is an often asked question, especially in the difficult economic times of recent years. However, this feature highlights research into how continuous education can benefit employees and employers alike By: Chris Gray measurable cost-benefits of education and training. There is also evidence to "… suggest that a more highly qualified and educated workforce is associated with greater productivity, greater innovation and higher quality products or services." [5] With the demand for sustainable playing surfaces and the range of new and improved technologies being created for use in the sporting environment, the need to keep investing in a skilled workforce capable of delivering the goods is more pressing than ever. Employer benefits include: • Improved productivity • Better quality of finished product • Employees can do their job better • Encourages staff loyalty, reducing staff turnover and recruitment costs • Leads to innovations in business processes or products, potentially improving the financial bottom line • Increases the ability of the organisation to build business success • Attracts better quality workers. [4] [5] [6]. Benefits to employees and individuals of investing in education and training Some of the key benefits to learners include: • Improved self-confidence • More effective use of spare time • Better career and life ideas • Improved job and career prospects • Increase in salary • Improved job performance • Better job satisfaction [6]. Summary There are many benefits to engaging with continued education and training. Having a clearly defined business objective for the investment will help to ensure relevant and good quality provision is received. l A list of the references is available on the IOG website at www.iog.org [1] (2005) National Audit Office website 'Employers' perspectives on improving skills for employment' http://www.nao.org.uk/report/employers- perspectives-on-improving-skills-for- employment/ [2] (2104) 'The UK Land-based and Environmental: Skills assessment update, Spring 2014', Lantra http://www.lantra.co.uk/Downloads/Lantra- mini-SSA-17-10-2013-V3-MS_Updated- 02-April_FINAL.aspx [3] (undated) City & Guilds centre for skills development website 'Why do we need to invest in a skilled workforce?' http://www.skillsdevelopment.org/knowledg e_portal/briefing_notes/6_employer_engage ment/why_do_we_need_to_invest.aspx [4] (2010) 'G20 A Skilled Workforce for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth', International Labour Office, Geneva, http://www.oecd.org/g20/topics/employme nt-and-social-policy/G20-Skills-Strategy.pdf [5] (2005) 'Measuring the Contribution of Skills to Business Performance: A Summary for Employers', Institute for Employment Studies, p.4 http://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/04526 2BD-5812-4221-A392- 214D7EC52B6E/0/mesdconsklbpsum.pdf [6] (2013) 'The impact of further education learning', Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, https://www.gov.uk/government/publication s/the-benefits-of-further-education-learning

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