Redundancies & resignations hit new high in training & HR - but salaries surge

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Figures released by the Chartered Management Institute today show that redundancies amongst the UK’s executives have hit their highest peak since 2001, with data also revealing concerns for the training and HR community. Reflecting the confused nature of the current economic climate, results from the survey of 40,027 individuals also reveals increases in earning power but more staff resigning across training and HR.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says: “Increased levels of pay are clearly not enough to retain employee loyalty despite the uncertain economic climate. Given the skills crisis, it is worrying to see so many executives voting with their feet and this must surely send a message to employers that, to retain the best talent, they need to address working environments and long-term career aspirations.”

The 2008 National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute and CELRE, uncovers a redundancy rate of three per cent across the UK’s senior management teams. The figure has more than doubled over the past 12 months (from 1.4 per cent) and is at its highest for seven years, when senior redundancies reached 3.7 per cent in 2001. In the training and HR sector the redundancy rate is 1.7 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent, last year.

Now in its 35th year, the survey shows that in terms of industry, manufacturing is the most widely affected sector, with a reported redundancy rate of seven per cent.

Yet despite this evidence of economic uncertainty, the 2008 survey shows an average movement in earnings of 6.6 per cent in the training and HR sector, up from 5.6 per cent in 2007. The findings reveal an average basic salary of £21,643 for junior executives in training and HR.

Surprisingly, given the economic climate and increased earning power, this year’s data also suggests that UK’s executives are willing to risk their job security. Results reveal that resignations in training and HR run at 7.3 per cent - up from 5.3 per cent in 2007.

Asked why their employees leave, three-quarters (75 per cent) of all those surveyed blame competition from other organisations or headhunting. Almost half (48 per cent) also recognise that they are failing to provide adequate career opportunities or development programmes. One in 10 admit that employees leave because of frustrations with the working environment (9 per cent). Similar proportions cite ‘bureaucratic leadership styles’ (8 per cent).

Further analysis also shows that retention is not the only problem confronting organisations. Eighty per cent of respondents continue to face difficulties filling vacant roles. Reasons given include a lack of candidates with specialist skills (70 per cent) and the salaries on offer (57 per cent).

The survey looked at various 'sectors' - the HR sector included training managers, training providers, in-house HR managers and in house HR directors.

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