ILM Identifies Leadership Skills Gap in the UK

Research reveals widespread lack of awareness about how businesses can use the new levy

16 February 2017, London: With less than two months to go before the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, many employers are unaware of the opportunity the upcoming changes present.

New research from ILM, the UK’s leading specialist provider of leadership qualifications, found that more than half (59%) of the UK’s HR professionals are not aware of new standards that enable apprenticeships to be used as a means to address the critical needs of their business.

At the end of 2016, ILM identified a major leadership skills gap in organisations across the UK.

Research revealed that more than a quarter (28%) of employees lack trustworthy or inspirational leaders, and just a third (31%) of employers feel confident in their current supply of leadership talent.

Yet many organisations do not realise the potential for next-generation apprenticeships to address this skills gap; a quarter of senior leaders (25%) would not value leadership and management apprenticeships. However the upcoming changes relax prior achievement rules, meaning that existing managers, directors and senior officials, as well as new recruits, can now receive senior leadership development funded via the apprenticeship levy.

Separate research released this week by ILM’s sister company, City & Guilds, found that management positions are the hardest to fill, and that almost half (47%) of businesses will focus recruitment efforts to meet this demand. However, just a fifth (19%) of respondents are aware that managers, directors and senior official job roles could be occupied by apprentices.

John Yates, group director at ILM, commented, “The levy provides the ideal opportunity for employers to start re-assessing their approach to learning and development overall, and to look again at the potential for apprenticeships to provide the talent they urgently need. Now that funding can be used to develop managers at all levels, whether they are existing employees or new recruits, it is the ideal way to invest in equipping current and future leaders with the skills that are so crucial for business success.”

Read the ILM Press Release.