We’re making a foolish mistake by not investing in training the workforce of the future

Josie Cox explains how we’re in danger of repeating our past mistakes, and making a mess of our future by not investing in workforce training

Josie Cox
Friday 26 July 2019 17:12 BST
The apprenticeship levy should have super-charged employer spending on training
The apprenticeship levy should have super-charged employer spending on training (Getty)

In a speech back in 2015 at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Hillary Clinton took issue with what she described as “quarterly capitalism”. Organisations, she argued, are myopically focused on the next three months of business. They want quick profits to keep investors sweet. Too often they disregard the potential benefits of longer term investments – investments in things such as research, development, recruitment and training.

Clinton’s words were predominantly aimed at the big public corporations of America, but I have no doubt that her warnings are just as relevant on this side of the pond for companies great and small.

Look no further than the UK’s chronic under-investment in employee development over the last few decades. In many businesses, training is limited to formulaic and cumbersome inductions and compliance – rushed tick-box exercises often mindlessly completed by trial and error. And then we wonder why we all want to quit our jobs and move to Spain.

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