cipdThis week saw the launch of 2009’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conference in Manchester, where topics of the agenda included, training, skills, development and jobs.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Jackie Orme, chief executive of the CIPD, said it had been a “turbulent year” for the UK economy, with 89 per cent of visitors to the group’s website stating they felt the country was still in recession.

“But I believe that predicting the end isn’t what matters most. What matters most is our fitness to deal with the present, while at the same time facing firmly into the uncertainties of the future,” she announced.

Ms Orme added that the last two years have “served to strengthen the role of and need for high calibre HR professionals”.

She went on to claim that the aim of the CIPD is to build a stronger and more confident HR profession too deal with the effects of the economic downturn.

One point that HR professionals may wish to prioritise as the recession rumbles on is how their firm deals with the problem of stress in the workplace.

Jenny Edwards, director of the International Stress Management Association, recently suggested HR staff need to be approachable and not view stress as a sign of weakness in order to tackle the problem.