Welsh businesses hampered by lack of investment in leadership training



According to a new study from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the growth potential of Welsh businesses is crippled by ‘accidental managers’.

The study shows that 92% of SMEs in Wales do not invest in leadership training. This despite ONS data proving that good management can dramatically improve productivity, as “better managed” companies have performed better throughout the pandemic.

It suggests that Wales’ low productivity compared to other countries and regions in the UK is linked to an over-representation of micro-businesses – organizations with fewer than 10 people – which make up 95% of Welsh businesses. One of the reasons these microenterprises fail to grow is that they cannot afford management training for employees, with only 8% of SMEs in Wales investing in future leaders.

The study shows that Wales has 73 times fewer management training courses (438) than England (31,938) and 10 times fewer than Scotland (4,461).

Despite this, funding for current leadership initiatives in Wales faces a funding cliff in 2023 when European social funding ends. Meanwhile, the Welsh Government Apprenticeship Tax is only available for priority sectors unlike England where it can be operated by any sector and for level seven qualifications the equivalent of ‘a master’s degree or more.

CMI Cymru is urging the Welsh government to make management and leadership a strategic skills development priority and has recommended a number of critical initiatives in its new 10-point manifesto.

These initiatives include opening the apprenticeship tax to managerial qualifications outside of STEM priority sectors, with all elected members of the assembly obtaining managerial qualifications themselves, and the incorporation of leadership assessments into them. Welsh Development Bank lending criteria.

Kathryn Austin, President of CMI Cymru, said: “The percentage of SMEs in Wales offering leadership and management training is in simple numbers – how can that not be cause for concern?

“As much as we would love to romanticize the ‘natural born leader’, so much good leaders and managers are shaped by training and exposure to best practices. It is a science, and other parts of the UK take it much more seriously as they recognize the tangible impact of this training on productivity and business results.

“We talk a lot about ‘upgrading’, but the development of technical skills in a few priority sectors will not get us far. We need a generation of people in Wales who understand the recipe for a well-managed and productive organization. It is the know-how that our microenterprises need to be able to evolve and, with it, our economy and our prosperity can grow.

Keith Jones, Director, ICE Wales Cymru: “You could be a teacher, lawyer or civil engineer, no matter what your professional background, in order to ‘take it to the next level’ and create a prosperous Wales, we need a strong leadership in every profession ”.

Christopher Byrne, deputy director of the Creative Leadership and Enterprise Center (CLEC), which runs the 20Twenty program, is concerned that the link between productivity and leadership is not being fully appreciated by policymakers.

He added: ’20Twenty has been subsidized by the European Social Fund through the Welsh government since 2010, but EU funding will stop in 2023. The value of the project has exceeded £ 12million and the grant of the EU accounts for more than half of this amount. .

“The loss of EU funding (without any replacement being put in place) would be catastrophic in Wales. Not only for management and leadership, but also in the potential decline in productivity in many sectors economy.

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