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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + + uncapped commission + benefits: SThree: Did you ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits + uncapped commission: SThree: Did you kn...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Web Developer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions