A shift in attitudes

David Noble, Group CEO, Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
13 October 2014

David Noble, CIPS CEOUnemployment is rife among young people, but companies aren’t just blaming education. Instead, we are focusing on solutions.

The worldwide recession has left a number of worrying legacies, not least the high numbers of young people still out of work. This means a lost generation of disaffected people, and the tragedy of the situation can’t be stressed highly enough for those individuals. But the implications are also so much wider. A lack of skilled young people means a stagnant economy, which affects following generations.

The continuing debate on how to reduce these impacts includes as many expert views as possible courses of action. From encouraging more employers to visit schools, giving a real insight into the world of work, to targeting educational curricula to meet the needs of a country, to actually creating more jobs. All have merit as one piece of the puzzle.

And I’m not just reflecting on the UK, as this is a global problem. A recent report from the Moroccan government has highlighted that four out of five unemployed people in the country are aged between 15 and 34. While in the UK, the jobless rate among 16 to 24-year-olds is significantly higher than the rest of the population. It’s not as though all education opportunities are prohibitive. Free online courses are available to anyone with a smartphone or cheap desktop PC. Anyone can educate themselves if they have the willingness to do so, all they then need is a opportunity to put that learning into practice.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has seen a shift in focus of attention to this issue in the past few months. Businesses are offering more apprenticeships, and employers are expanding graduate schemes and offering more work experience. The business community is taking this to heart and not just blaming the failings of education systems as before. Other bodies are also reporting a positive change. The Institute of Directors quotes figures of 370,000 applications for apprenticeships between March and April in this year alone.

At the Institute, we’re making our own inroads through bursaries from the CIPS Foundation, our Profession of Choice campaign and beabuyer.org website, and making resources and information free on our website and via social networks. We have also been working with City of Glasgow College and the Scottish Government to offer a Modern Apprenticeship in procurement which has now been launched. So though there is no magic cure to heal this damage, with more widely available education, more apprenticeships and a willingness to support young people, these positive changes should gain momentum.

Global standard launched

An interactive version of the Global Standard for Procurement and Supply has now been developed.

Launched earlier this year in hard and soft copy, this comprehensive competency framework will enhance organisational and individual performance as it offers a benchmark for all levels in the profession and can be used by all sectors.

The Global Standard is based on extensive research with around 5,000 procurement and supply professionals at all stages of their career and from organisations from around the world.

You can drill down into each of the segments to get detail on the knowledge and capability expected at each level of competency from tactical to advanced professional.

The Global Standard will be revised annually.

Let us know what you think of the interactive version available from the CIPS website.

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