Developing the Future Workforce Today

In an ever-increasingly tight employment environment, businesses are having to think carefully about how to maximise their current workforce, this is particularly difficult when you are looking to scale and yet recruiting more people may not be achievable. 

Businesses are turning to technology to fill these gaps, automating tasks to ensure that their employees can focus on the high-value activities.  This can be seen across a wide range of sectors, from retail’s use of robotic fulfilment and check out, through to the financial sector's growing use of automation and robotisation of processes. Bringing technology into the workplace has benefits, but do we and our teams have the skills and mindsets needed to embrace and leverage the possibilities?  Here at the Digital Greenhouse, we have been developing programmes to support these changes and assist businesses with planning the workforce of tomorrow, today.

During 2021, we have had the pleasure of working with over 300 people on their upskilling journey.  This has included quarterly Digital Leadership courses, enabling heads of business and entrepreneurs to expand their knowledge and think creatively about customer expectations in a digital world.  Digital marketing also continued to be a popular focus area, with individuals and businesses taking advantage of short mini-lab programmes, as well as full qualifications to move their careers and ventures forward.  As we move into 2022, we have seen a tripling in numbers of businesses joining the digital apprenticeship scheme.

Understanding the key skills and attributes needed for upskilling the workforce is imperative if we are to support and develop our teams.  Working with experts from Harvard University, industry and education specialists, the key areas of change and project management, agile strategy, understanding how technology can support success and add value to a business have been identified as core to any future workforce upskilling programme.

This year we have launched the new High Potentials Programme (HPP) for Guernsey.  This is a bespoke, virtual 12-week leadership course, jointly delivered by Blenheim Chalcot, innovation experts, and Avado Learning, a professional learning academy specialised in digital leadership courses. It is designed to equip high-potential future leaders with a toolkit to drive change.  The programme is delivered through a combination of interactive seminars, online learning modules, customised webinars, and a digital community platform. It will also have face to face meetups and a graduation ceremony at the Digital Greenhouse.  

Developing the capability within your organisation is an essential part of planning for the changes needed to fully leverage new technologies into all aspects of business.  Places for this year's High Potential Programme which started in March, are fully funded through SMART Guernsey’s Economic Development programme.  Through a series of interactive seminars, online modules, webinars, a digital learning community and application activities, the programme draws from the best practice in current workforce digital and leadership learning.  

As 2022 begins, the urgency to upskill ourselves and our workforce continues to grow.  Being part of the digital upskilling revolution has never been easier or more accessible to all within the community.  As we look to the year ahead, now is the time to set those resolutions and for all of us to be personally responsible for our learning growth.

This article was originally printed in Business Brief: February 2022 Issue

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