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Companies should invest more in workforce to ease UK productivity woes: CIPD

Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 07:20
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Weak productivity has been a major problem for Britain since the financial crisis, and the economic recovery has not led it to pick up as much as the Bank of England expected, potentially weighing on how much Britons can expect to earn in the future.

[LONDON] Companies will be unable to contribute to solving Britain's dire productivity problem unless they invest more in workforce development and "smarter" working practices, an industry body said on Thursday.

Weak productivity has been a major problem for Britain since the financial crisis, and the economic recovery has not led it to pick up as much as the Bank of England expected, potentially weighing on how much Britons can expect to earn in the future.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that fewer than half of British businesses consider increasing productivity to be a current priority, while a third do not use any measures of productivity.

Output per hour edged up 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year, official data showed on Wednesday, after stagnating towards the end of 2014.

The CIPD warned that British finance minister George Osborne's post-election Budget, due next Wednesday, could be a missed opportunity unless there is a strong focus on workplace productivity. "We need a shift in focus towards increasing the value generated by the workforce and how work is organised. This will require a renewed focus on the way people are managed and developed to deliver smarter, more productive working," said Peter Cheese, the CIPD's chief executive.

The CIPD said the government should give higher priority to investing in human capital, including funding of vocational and further education, and training.

REUTERS

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