Talent Management – Millions of over-educated workers stuck in the wrong roles

Organisations are struggling with their talent management, a new report has yet again highlighted.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), 5.1 million UK workers are ‘stuck’ in jobs where their talents are not being used. In fact, many of these workers are considered ‘over-educated’. This problem is rapidly getting worse – there’s been a rise of nearly a third compared to 2006. This applies not only to graduates but those who have invested in apprenticeships and NVQs too.

IPPR warns:

… the mismatch of skills and jobs could contribute to another “lost decade” of stalled productivity and falling wages.

Allied to this trend are:

  • An adult skills system that is out of alignments with the requirements of employers.
  • An ageing workforce, with older employees far less likely to receive any/adequate training or re-training.
  • A lack of incentive and motivation of employers and employees to invest in training/the right training.
  • Employers not making use of their employees’ skills.
  • A resulting mismatch between education, qualifications and productivity.

In the IPPR report,Skills 2030: Why the adult skills system is failing to build an economy that works for everyone‘, authors Joe Dromey and Clare McNeil conclude that the adult skills system is ill-equipped to deliver what is needed to address the significant trends that will affect our economy between now and 2030. The report suggests that the current apprenticeships levy is insufficient to address the challenges.

The UK lags significantly behind the EU with half the average level of investment in vocational training; such investment has fallen in real terms by over 13% between 2007 and 2015.

The report focuses on organisations with more than 50 employees. Of these, a third do not have a training budget. The report states that the current training system and policy has failed to tackle regional and social inequalities, with adults who stand to benefit most from training being the least likely to participate.

The report highlights that number of manufacturing and ‘middle-skilled’ jobs are in decline, with managerial, professional and customer service oriented jobs on the ascent.

Our view on the implications for Talent Management

From our perspective at Connect To Your Potential, as you might expect, with think the following:

  • There is too much emphasis on technical vocational skills and insufficient (often a complete absence) of so called soft skills training – especially emotional intelligence and emotional literacy. Despite clear evidence of the importance of these, very little training is done.
  • There is a lack of a systematised approach to tailoring training and development, and indeed recruitment and staff development/role development, to the individuals concerned.
    • There is a huge (missed) opportunity to align both recruitment & selection, and training & development, to the individual people and job functions concerned.

Developing the self-awareness and emotional intelligence of the organisation can deliver huge benefits in terms of:

  • Staff productivity and empowerment – leading to improved staff happiness and retention.
  • Matching staff capabilities and roles – avoiding the proverbial square peg in a round hole (see images below).
  • Identifying the non-technical requirements of roles, and then confidently selecting and developing the right candidates (either internal or external).

At Connect To Your Potential we have developed a unique and pragmatic approach to developing emotional intelligence. We are also certified practitioners for PRISM Brain Mapping – a powerful talent management system for identifying, developing and matching candidates to optimum job benchmarks. Contact us to find out how we can help you to optimise your talent management.

PRISM Job Benchmark

PRISM Job Benchmark – avoid trying to force a square peg (employee) into a round hole (job/role)


Job benchmarking for talent management

Job benchmarking for talent management


Career development for talent management

Career development for talent management

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