Insights to Recession-Proof Your People Strategy

No organisation can ignore the recession and its impact on the business world. With economic constraints, all businesses must consider cost-cutting measures and find creative ways to achieve their business objectives with less financial freedom.

Key Insights from our Workplace Training Report 2023 Using the apprenticeship levy to support your skills development training.

Finding ways to build new skills within your teams is vital. We found that 53% of respondents see future-proofing their existing teams with new skills as the primary way to mitigate issues caused by the recession.


Taking a skills-based approach to professional development for employees

Taking a skills-based approach to manage the challenges posed by the recession will help your organisation make the most of its internal talent, potentially minimising hiring costs and budget. Our Workplace Training Report revealed senior HR leaders were concerned about the recruitment impacts of not being able to find the right skills or talent (46%) and stretched teams who do not have time to undertake workplace training (39%).

A skills-based approach allows you to assist your people in finding suitable internal positions to advance their careers, minimising the chance of losing top talent and allowing you to manage skills gaps without the expensive cost of recruitment. A skills-based approach incorporates many elements, including offering targeted training opportunities to existing staff, continuous learning opportunities and roadmaps to promote different roles within the organisation. There are many benefits of taking a skills-based approach to training.

Benefit 1: Attract and retain a diverse talent pool

Skills development training is a proven retention strategy. We found that 56% of employees would consider leaving their role if they do not receive the development support they need, including 47% of those who would consider leaving their role in the next two years if they were not offered development. Offering professional development in the workplace makes employees feel more valued (83%), allowing your organisation to attract and keep a broad talent pool with the skills needed to succeed. It may also help attract candidates from non-traditional routes who may not have the usual “essential criteria” but have the skills necessary to thrive.

Benefit 2: Boosting your internal value proposition

According to McKinsey, hiring people for skills is 5X more predictive of job performance than hiring for education. LinkedIn also found that employees without degrees stay in their jobs 34% longer than those with degrees. Making the most of your existing talent, regardless of their qualification or suitability on paper, can be highly effective for your business.

Benefit 3: Maximising your talent's potential

Employees want to grow with their chosen organisation and feel valued and part of its overall development. Our research shows when considering a role with a similar salary and benefits, 3 in 5 (60%) would be more likely to go for a position with a personalised professional development and career progression plan. Giving your employees a path towards success and progression is extremely inviting and could be the difference between keeping and losing your most exciting talent.

Invest in your people, even during the recession.

The Apprenticeship Levy is invaluable for investing in your people without impacting your budget. While there are calls to reform the levy to make it more extensive and allow businesses to do more, the current format can still be used effectively to upskill your people in difficult economic times. Many organisations do not maximise the value of their levy funding. Employers in the UK have surrendered over £3.3bn to the Treasury in apprenticeship levy cash they did not spend. With a recession to overcome, organisations should be looking to get all they can from the available funding.

Explore our full range of levy-funded skills development training: