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Skills in Birmingham

24th January 2012

There has been an interesting conversation this week  about what it is that employers value when recruiting staff  With the Birmingham and Solihull LEP meeting at the end of the month to discuss what skills the people of Birmingham need, Nick Booth from Podnosh, has tried to gather the views of people from across the city to see what they feel is currently missing in his blog piece below;

 

Read Nick’s article here

 

Views are sought from local organisations from across different sectors, each describing their interactions with the percieved skills (or lack of them) in the local area and also commenting on what they think is needed to make sure that Birmingham, and it’s people, is ready for the future.

 

Karl Binder, from Adhere left his views on the site, amongst others, while Gateway’s Chief Executive, Vicki Fitzgerald also commented on the debate by saying, “As a training provider and accredited delivery agent for qualifications, people often think we value qualifications above all else. This isn’t true, in fact the opposite is the case. We employ over 60 people that we have recruited for their experience, mostly of life, family, barriers, prejudice and often overcoming the most difficult of circumstances. Their experience is nothing without genuine commitment, passion and enthusiasm for what they are doing and it’s these values that we would recruit for.

 

Often qualifications mean exclusion for many rather than inclusion.I often see them as a hoop people have to jump through in order to do things that really matter. For me, while others were doing their degrees or their masters, I was learning about real life and real people and it taught me a huge amount.

 

We work mostly with the NHS and professional qualifications are necessary in most cases (my dentist for example!) Unlike many other sectors the qualifications rarely change and this can mean a job for life, but it also can mean that you never get to employ people who see the world from different perspectives – always valuing skills and qualifications over experience and values makes for a very insular organisation

 

So what do you think?

 

Are the skills that people are learning useful in today’s world? What skills, and when, should we be looking for when employing staff and does experience and ‘life-skills’ make you stand out more than qualifications?

 

 

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