Skills, Skills, Skills!

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Back in January I wrote an article about the job trends for 2020. It seems like a lifetime away now. Some of the job titles on the list felt like another language at the time but as we move inevitably towards the winter of 2020, those job titles have been playing on my mind.

We have another sobering six months ahead of us and in my role I seem to be surrounded by talk of restructures and redundancies. Some of these are projects I am supporting clients with, others are related to friends and family whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. A common thread however, is the resourcefulness of whoever is affected and in particular in relation to re-training.

I’ve written here before about the importance of skills and why in the future skills will be the currency of our economy – rather than qualifications. I’ve also written before about modern day apprenticeships and how significant they can be for organisations and individuals looking to increase their knowledge and competitive edge. Sadly, the latest news on apprenticeships is worrying. Industry bodies have warned the number of apprenticeship new starts had “slumped alarmingly” before the outbreak and pandemic restrictions have only exacerbated the problem – up to 45,000 existing apprentices can’t complete their training because they can’t go into test centres or workplaces to be tested.

It goes without saying that apprenticeships can be a cost effective way to plug skills gaps within organisations and most of us know that the apprenticeship levy introduced in April 2017 was not just designed for young people and school leavers – it can also be used to upskill existing employees within companies. It seems to me that now more than ever, we need to focus our efforts on re-skilling. If the CBI are to be believed, apparently nine in 10 UK employees will have to reskill by 2030. Those figures were big before C-19 came along and we were already talking about the future of work, but as a result of the pandemic change has accelerated further. Looking ahead I can see there will be many who go through redundancy and will need to re-skill and re-train because the job they left is being re-configured or disappearing forever. That means assessing existing skills, identifying transferable skills but also figuring out which new skills you would like to train in, is the order of the day.

Hertfordshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) have several programmes in place to support with re-skilling – their HOP portal is a good place to start

By Ruth George – HR Consultant
07899 920075

This is not legal advice and is provided for general information only. © Ruth George HR Consulting.


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