Following hot on the heels of exam results across the UK comes the worrying announcement that figures for adults in training or education have dropped to the lowest levels on record.

The Department of Education has reported that only 37% of people in the UK have undertaken any sort of training at all over the past three years. This compares badly to the 46% peak in skills training in 2001.

This announcement is particularly worrying as the country’s productivity growth hinges on having a ready supply of fresh talent and skills, especially in STEM subjects, to keep pace with unprecedented levels of change and challenge.

Even more alarming, the DoE study on this topic uncovered that the majority of people surveyed had no plans to undergo work-related training in the coming years either. This is despite the fact the UK has an ageing population, which suggests that reskilling should be more dynamic, not less.

Recruiting and growing retail executive skills

Attracting – and then holding on to – enough retail executive recruits with the skills to keep pace with technological transformation continues to be one of the biggest problems facing UK companies. True of both bricks and clicks retailers.

In fact, this is endemic across UK business and commerce. Over the past year, a shocking 91% of organisations reported difficulties in recruiting staff with essential skills, according to an employer survey by the Open University Business Barometer.

For retailers, this sparse talent pool to recruit from necessitates robust efforts to build skills from within too, especially retraining in IT skills. As new fintech emerges and data management forces the pace of change, juggling retail executive recruitment and internal skill building becomes ever more urgent.

The pressure on skills building and retail talent mapping shows no sign of easing either. Artificial Intelligence is passing swiftly from science fiction to commercial fact, leaving many of the big names in UK retail at risk of being left behind.

Gaps at the top

Both online and physical retail still have reasonably buoyant entry-level recruitment levels. However, securing top talent is hard. Particularly as IT Retail Executive Recruitment in companies with “their backs to the wall” puts them in competition with organisations with deep pockets.

The problem has become more pressing as Retail Executive Search for data management skills is now not simply restricted to specific IT personnel. Managers in many different departments now need technological know-how. That’s because tech impacts on end to end retail business functionality, from supply chain management to point of sale systems.

To formulate effective talent mapping strategies, and for leadership consultancy in meeting the UK skills shortage, contact Anthony Gregg Partnership.