UK companies need to brace themselves for a tough time ahead and the possibility of thousands more job losses, it has been suggested.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), 600,000 more people will be made redundant this year.

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said that the organisation expected to see a rise in the “early months of 2009” – a consequence of which could be that HR staff need to provide training and counselling for those left behind.

Mr Philpott went on to explain that “in many workplaces in 2009, HR is therefore going to feel more like ER or Casualty – leastways the sweat and tears – as managers attempt to perform the organisational equivalent of emergency triage to staff traumatised by news of colleagues losing jobs”.

As such, HR departments could well find that they need to offer training to remaining staff in order to help them to cope with this difficult period.

In the last Queen’s speech training proposals were outlined which confirmed that employees would be given the right to take time off for training.