Improving the capabilities of today’s workforce

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Almost half (48%) of New Zealand employers report difficulty in filling jobs due to a lack of talent, yet are  not making effective use of training to develop talent,  a new report has concluded.

The Manpower Group’s report, “How to advance the capabilities of today’s workforce: Bolstering employability demands an attitude change”, also found that:


  • 58% of Kiwi companies believe they can find the talent they need instead of developing it.
  • 53% of Kiwi companies don’t have formal training or apprenticeships.

Many companies simply don’t recognise the ROI offered by training when compared to the casual effect of not hiring or training new workers to replace retiring workers, the report stated. In fact, a number of companies in recent years have drastically reduced training programmes or cut them altogether.

Too many companies are accustomed to finding talent outside their organisation instead of relying on their abilities to develop from within, a dangerous approach in a world of scarce talent and increasingly specific skills requirements, the report continued. However, training offered a logical way to grow a larger and sustainable supply of talent ready to step into any opening.

The report said that a “sweeping change of approach – a real training revolution” involving the following strategies were necessary:


  • Customised training
  • Training designed to enhance employability
  • Teaching to set the tone
  • HR that embraces the change
  • Focus on youth
  • Involvement of retiring – or retirement-age – workers
  • Creation of a menu of options

The report recommended that companies should:


  • Anticipate their future needs and build a robust workforce strategy to ensure they’ll have the talent they need to win.
  • Engage in ongoing communication with employees about training and development needs.
  • Target training at all employees – not just managers and the most skilled workers.
  • Interact with students and focus some part of their training activities on schools and postsecondary institutions to better ensure that future candidates have the skills they need.
  • Make training accessible to employees via enhanced use of flexible and mobile training resources.
  • Take an innovative approach to training and development to deal with the challenges presented by a rapidly changing world.


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