Want to boost your business? Invest in People

Government training schemes come and go, but Roger Trapp has found one that could run and run

Over the years, government training initiatives have come and gone with great regularity. But one that is showing signs of staying power is Investors in People. Not only are increasing numbers of companies able to boast that they are an "Investor in People" on all their communications, they are also claiming that it is helping to improve performance.

Employers are overwhelmingly positive about the initiative's impact - on both the quality of the workforce and on the business itself, according to a report just published by the Institute for Employment Studies. Employers involved with it are more likely to have mission statements and business plans than those that are not; employers that have completed the process are more likely to have formal workforce planning documents, such as human resource strategy papers; and are almost twice as likely to have formal training plans and a training budget.

So what exactly is this apparent catalyst? Launched in 1991, Investors in People is the Government's national standard to help employers improve training and development practices by linking them with business needs. By this spring, 1,200 employers had achieved the standard, while another 12,400 had made a public commitment to do so.

The study, carried out last autumn among more than 1,700 companies in England and Wales, also found that the vast majority of employers already involved intended to continue with it, although some have put the initiative on hold. All those that have already attained the standard intend to maintain it and re-apply when their three-year licences expire.

Fans of the programme believed that Investors - increasingly viewed as the Government's principal tool for improving workforce training and development - had made an impact on working practices in three key areas:

Training. More than two-thirds of employers had changed their training practices and more than 90 per cent believe the initiative has contributed to this change or that it will do so in the future.

Quality of the workforce. Employers believe that Investors has helped to improve employee commitment and increase understanding of wider business aims and objectives.

Business benefits. Two-thirds of organisations believed that Investors had contributed to an improvement in business performance.

The researchers say that a final link between involvement with the scheme and improved business performance has yet to be made, but they are confident that Investors is having an impact.

There is one potential problem. The study says staff believe that their employers' commitment to training has improved. However, it also finds some employees who do not feel well-informed about the initiative, and resistance to the idea from managers and employees at about one in four organisations.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing software co...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate / Digital Account Exe...

Guru Careers: Junior Designer / Design Graduate

£18k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Junior Designer / Design Graduate to join...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager / Graduate Trainee

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Key Sales Account Manager/Graduate Trainee i...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas