This month the CIPD maintained its strong voice on the ongoing labour and skills shortages that have been widely reported in the media, as well as some key issues relating to inclusion in the workplace.

New ways of working also continues to be a hot topic.

Urging greater skills investment and responding to labour shortages news

Throughout October there were a number of opportunities for the CIPD to provide its expert commentary on the ongoing skills and labour shortages that have been reported recently.

The CIPD’s new research ‘Addressing skills and labour shortages post-Brexit' found there needs to be short-term interventions on immigration policy to tackle the immediate labour crisis, as well as long-term reforms to skills policy and business support.

The research was covered by Reuters and The Mail, as well as HR titles including People ManagementHR Magazine and Personnel Today. It was also featured in specialist publications for some of the sectors currently affected by shortages, such as The Cattle Site and The Pig Site.

The Conservative Party Conference at the beginning of the month gave us an opportunity to hear Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plans for jobs support schemes, such as extending apprenticeship incentive payments for employers and the Kickstart scheme. In its response to the Chancellor’s conference speech, the CIPD urged the government to go further, including reforming the Apprenticeship Levy to a more flexible training levy and increasing investment to support lifelong learning.

Later in the month, the Chancellor set out the latest Budget and spending review which was a further opportunity for the CIPD to comment on the importance of skills investment. This was picked up by HR MagazinePeople Management and Financial Director.

Building inclusive workplaces for all

The CIPD also provided commentary and insights on a range of issues relating to inclusion at work across the month.

The deadline for Gender Pay Gap Reporting came on 6th October. The CIPD’s analysis found the number of organisations reporting their figures was down 11% compared to 2019-20. In its response, the CIPD called for those who haven’t yet reported to do so as soon as possible and also reiterated its call for mandatory narratives and action plans alongside figures. This was picked up across HR media, including Personnel TodayEmployee BenefitsHR World, and HR Grapevine.

The CIPD also teamed up with the Centre for Better Aging and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to launch the Good Recruitment for Older Workers (GROW) guide for employers. The guide, focused on age inclusive recruitment, contains practical advice and suggestions to help employers remove age-bias from their hiring process and take advantage of older workers’ skills and experiences. This was covered by the Daily Express, as well as People ManagementHR Magazine and Working Wise.

In addition, the CIPD marked Menopause Awareness Month by hosting a webinar with Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East and Janet Trowse, Head of HR at Network Rail. On World Menopause Day (18 October), CIPD experts hosted a Q&A on Twitter, covering questions such as ‘Why is the menopause a workplace issue?’ and ‘What should employers be doing to support women in the workplace?’. The CIPD’s 2019 research on menopause at work was cited by a number of media outlets, including The Sun, the i newspaper and HR Magazine, as well as a mention on BBC Radio 5 Live.

New ways of working 

Employers, government and media continue to discuss what the world of work might look like as we recover from the pandemic. Policy adviser Claire McCartney appeared on BBC’s The One Show (scroll to 08:15), where she urged employers not to revert back to previous ways of working, encouraging them to find flexible working solutions that work for both the organisation and employee.

Chief executive Peter Cheese also spoke to BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours (scroll to 13:20) about how the pandemic has changed attitudes towards work. Peter discussed how employers are still in a learning phase regarding new and flexible ways of working, however evidence shows employees are expecting the opportunity to work more flexibly.

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Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.