The Importance of Education and Skills in Workforce Capability

The world of work is changing. The dynamism of the new economy means that education and skills are essential to the UK’s continuing competitiveness in the global marketplace. Individuals and organisations need to make informed decisions about what the changes mean learning and development opportunities in order that UK business can manage the capability through its people.

There is no single answer, no one right way to build a workforce that is motivated, well led, recognises and develops hidden talent resulting in the changes required to deliver organisational effectiveness.

The uncertainty that organisation face means that planning of personal development if vital and valuable to develop effective workforce engagement and foster a strategy which is flexible and adaptable to the changing demands of the marketplace.

Developing an understanding of current workforce capability and how they are aligned to current business drivers and the strategic purpose of the organisation will ensure that the organisation is able to identify gaps in workforce knowledge, skills and capacity needed to be responsive, and begin building an education, learning and development programme to ensure that the workforce capability is fit for purpose.

The analysis of the workforce capability must result in an agreed outcome that builds a strategic plan for meeting the development needs of the workforce in both the short and the long term. In addition a strategy to continuously improve and develop employee knowledge, skills and capability must be developed to ensure that capability does not become stagnant and be found wanting by sudden changes in direction in the marketplace.

Monitoring, review and evaluation of the strategic workforce capability plan are essential to progress, and provide the opportunity to quickly address limitations of workforce capability. For many organisations this is easily done but others will need additional help. Take for instance and organisation that is made up primarily of home or ‘on the road’ workers, it’s difficult for them to keep in touch with central policies and they often lack HR support. Technically a lot can be done to help them keep in touch by using technology, e’g investing in individual VPN clients like this set up – http://iplayerusa.org/ let’s them safely access the home network and watch the news on the BBC from the USA or wherever they happen to be.

The importance of a high skilled, knowledge, flexible and adaptable workforce cannot be under estimated in the coming years. Technology can assist but the reality is that there needs to be more support emotionally too, but a high speed vpn certainly won’t do any harm for those travelling or working remotely!