Senior leaders risk falling behind in the L&D space

Less than a quarter of UK employers focus their training activity on senior leaders, which has created the risk of them falling behind in the learning and development (L&D) space.

This was discovered by research conducted by ILM, a leadership and training provider business owned by City & Guilds Group. It found that 23 per cent of employers plan to focus their training and development activity on senior leaders during the next 12 months. Even though 33 per cent of employers admit that some of the largest skill gaps are within senior leaders.

Also, only one in five (20 per cent) of employers in the UK believe that current training for senior leaders is effective despite less than half of all senior leaders in the UK being heavily involved in the strategy, activation or evaluation of learning and development programmes.

Senior leaders believe their business needs to offer more input in to L&D programmes in order for them to succeed.

Kirstie Donnelly, managing director at City & Guilds Group, a vocational education company said:

The UK’s workplaces are changing, with new technologies and new ways of working competing with the challenges of an unpredictable economic and political landscape.

Our research shows that there is an urgent need among UK employers to review and improve their leadership training provision. Businesses require leaders at every level with a wide variety of skills, some of which can only be mastered on the job, to secure a competitive advantage.

It’s clear that learning and development must keep pace with the requirements of an ever-changing workplace. Leadership training is no longer about developing the people at the top – leaders exist at all levels of an organisation, so training needs to be flexible to reflect this.  Skills training has to meet the requirements of many different people at different stages in their careers, to ensure that we can build the future leaders of tomorrow.

City & Guilds Group surveyed a global sample of 6,532 employees in companies of 10 or more people and 1,304 employers in companies with 25 or more employees across 13 markets. This included 100 employers and 500 employees in the UK. The research was conducted by Vitreous World, a research consultancy on behalf of City & Guilds Group in April 2019.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.