Abstracts: September 26th, 2007

This report from the Chartered Management Institute shows that ‘who you know’ and ‘what you know’ is no longer enough to get a job in local government. It reveals that job prospects in the sector are increasingly being influenced by an individual’s commitment to their long-term professional development. It also uncovers major barriers preventing significant numbers from improving their skills.

The findings show 74 per cent of employers and 79 per cent of individuals in local government believe management qualifications will grow in importance over the next 5 years. Individuals and employers also agree that ‘proof of academic prowess’ is no longer a key driver for taking a qualification.

Many employers argue that having qualified managers leads to productivity gains and 82 per cent value MBAs most highly while 77 per cent value Diplomas. Some 70 per cent of employers also suggest that providing the opportunity to gain qualifications gives the organisation an enhanced professional reputation and almost two-thirds also say it boosts their ability to attract staff. However, the report shows that desire to secure formal recognition is not matched by action, with only 1 in 5 individuals holding a management qualification. The study suggests that low uptake is caused by a series of barriers. One of the key difficulties is the complexity of the qualifications system, with 65 per cent arguing too many qualifications exist and 51 per cent agreeing that the different levels are confusing. The report also shows that the most widely felt barrier is the impact of study on managers’ time. Many respondents agreed that it diverts energy from other interests and their work.

The report is available at http://www.managers.org.uk/listing_1.aspx?id=10:106&id=10:9&doc=10:3423