Government Stops Unconscious Bias Training

The Government have now announced (as of 15/12/20) that their Unconscious Bias Training programme for civil servants is to be scrapped as they feel, based on their own internal reporting that it does not work.

At Skills 4, we broadly agree with the Governments views because Unconscious Bias Training is not, and has never been, a ‘silver bullet’ that UK Businesses can simply sign up for and wish away all of their problems, As a stand alone training course, it is not enough and the Government are right to have seen this.

For Unconscious Bias Training to truly work, it needs to be delivered alongside other key topics such as conscious inclusion, micro-aggressions and allyship if they are to have any real and lasting effect on the workforce.

This is why our own internal Unconscious Bias Training Programme delivery INCLUDES these sub topics.

By including this, we can deliver a focussed training programme that truly delivers on all of these issues to bring about positive change that DOES deliver the intended results

We agree that the Governments’ existing Unconscious Bias Training courses were more about ticking a training exercise box rather than delivering a lasting and impactful course that would deliver real benefit.

At Skills 4, we are an Award Winning Provider of Diversity and Inclusion Training and Consultancy Services. We support our clients to attract, retain and progress diverse talent and have worked with more than 10,000 employees over 16 years to help shape the UK working environment; creating inclusive workplaces in which all talent can thrive.

What happens next?

The big question that the Government need to address now that they have made their announcement is what happens next? What do they intend on replacing their current Unconscious Bias Training programme with.

We actively want to tackle the barriers that still divide the workplace and while we support the Governments opinion that their current Training Program was not producing the results that they should, as one of the leading diversity and inclusion training providers in the UK, we want the Government to understand that more, not less is the only true path to generate a mindset shift and generate immediate changes in employees behaviour to support positive change.

Why is Unconscious Bias important?

Stereotypes and bias can lead us to incorrect or unfair decisions and negatively impact the attraction, retention and progression of talent via unfair recruitment, appraisals, allocation of work and succession planning.

Unconscious Bias Training (when delivered alongside conscious inclusion, microaggressions and allyship training) can enable businesses to:

Understand how their biases are created and maintained by neurology and socialisation
Explore how bias can be triggered and controlled
Develop ideas to counter bias in people’s decisions at a company and personal level

We all have unconscious bias buried deep within us and our training programmes help to highlight the known traits of unconscious bias and cover how we can best address them in order to produce a more efficient and productive working environment for your business.

However you look at the Governments decision to cancel their Unconscious Bias Training, it is vitally important that they do not simply give up on trying to make the workforce in the UK more inclusive. And instead, understand and identify what it was that was lacking in their existing system and strengthen it for the future.

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