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Could Brexit present talent managers with opportunities for upskilling

8th October 2018 | Richard Goodall

Could Brexit present talent managers with opportunities for upskilling

Although Brexit is dominating the news and much of this is negative, specialists within the recruitment and talent management industry have wagered that the separation from Europe may present employers with more opportunities to upskill. With fewer options for recruitment, due to different border restrictions with the wider world, many companies will need to reinvest back into their existing employees to build their leaders of the future rather than outsourcing.

It is likely that in the next few years, the training industry will experience a significant rise in demand for programmes and learning which will develop their employees, quickly and effectively. From implementing business simulations and experiential training to more internships, organisations will have to identify the most effective ways to upskill people of all learning styles and education levels.

Growing a workforce from within

One of the key worries for talent managers is the impending skill shortage caused by the exiting of skilled migrant workers, following the referendum. One of the key ways that companies need to prepare for the UK to exit the UK, is to ensure that they have the proper people in the right places in their business.

A succession plan can help to support the identification of people who have the potential to move into more senior positions, whether these are in the c-suite or running departments due to their unique skill set. By identifying those who possess leadership skills or valuable knowledge, across every department, and ensuring that there is a diverse range of people in all areas of the company, an organisation can better future-proof their internal talent. By offering the potential to grow and be groomed for promotions, a business is far more likely to maintain a high staff retention, which can cost less and in turn attracts the best talent by default.

Transformation of the future

Traditionally, companies have steered away from educating and growing the skillset of the ‘working class’. However, in order for Brexit to ‘work’ companies need to be more effective in progressing their workforce, to ensure that the workplace is transformed for the benefit of young Britons, offering opportunities to everyone.

Issues have arisen in industries such as construction, whereby the majority of the workforce is nearing retirement, with very few successors in place to take over. This is often due to a lack of progression from junior roles to management-based positions and a lack of interest in the industry. It has created a lack of entry-level positions or progression for the younger generation and has resulted in less highly skilled people available to move up when needed.

There needs to be an attitude change within companies and their talent management strategies that look at the low-skilled British worker and creates a way to encourage and equip them with the right skills to take up the positions left vacant by overseas workers and grow in these. Companies must identify areas of skills shortages and ensure that the correct training is in place and is designed for those who may not have intended to work in the field from school-leaver level. This will ensure that no prior knowledge is needed and will improve accessibility to jobs for a wider range of people.