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Will Our New Government Be Up-Skilling Our Workforce?

At Diverse Talent Networks (DTN), we followed the election manifestos with great interest because as an organisation that understands the need for a workforce that is transparent and reflects our society, we feel strongly that education is key to making positive changes to the labour market. Here are some points we would like to see addressed by our newly elected government.

Addressing the Skills Gap

We need to address the skills gap. Organisations tend to hire people they know rather than on their skill set. At DTN we want the new government to address this as it affects economic productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. How do we do this?

Increased Investment in Education and Apprenticeships

There needs to be Increased investment in vocational education and apprenticeships to provide practical skills that meet industry needs. We need to encourage collaboration between educational institutions and industries to ensure our curriculum aligns with current and future job market requirements. Ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to apply to the workplace will have a positive effect on unemployment figures and the growth of our economy. Labour’s manifesto said that it will provide a modern curriculum so that young people are ready for work and life. Let’s hope this is the case.

Up-Skilling Means Investing

We know that up-skilling means investment. We need the government to prioritise continuous learning and skill development throughout a person's career and offer incentives for companies to invest in employee training. “We have seen a lot of investment by schools in technology but we’re still behind other countries,” says Lee Higgins, the founder of DTN. “The government needs to be looking at what the employment space looks like in the UK and ask themselves if we can compete in industry. At the moment we fall behind other countries.”

Career Advice

Career advice in schools hasn’t changed according to Lee. He believes that not enough investment goes into providing students with focused relatable advice. He also feels that work experience is lacking and can sometimes be about who your parents know rather than anything particularly suited to the individual. Lee says most curriculums don’t relate to the real world. Schools and universities should be encouraged to adopt project-based learning approaches, where students work on real-world problems and projects.

Diverse Talent Pools

This is at the root of everything we do at DTN. There needs to be a vast improvement in hiring practices. We know that the growth of a business must demonstrate an inclusive workforce. However, for many, this is still a tick-box exercise. We want to see more organisations opening themselves up to networking rather than just recruiting. Building networks is imperative for individual success. Our aim in promoting a diverse network within organisations is to ensure that there is diversity in recruitment and therefore enable us to tap into a broader range of skills and perspectives.

The Ageing Population

The Labour government should bear in mind our ageing population and ensure that those aged 55+ are up-skilled and utilised within our workforce. Many feel that they are overlooked for work due to not being seen as ‘a rising star’ which is typically someone below the age of 45. However, those who are over 55 often have no intention of retiring and are not ready to exit the labour market. Sadly, we hear of many people 55+ who are between jobs and still have a lot to give back but are overlooked for a role which goes to someone younger. This seems like a waste of talent that should be utilised.

Are we addressing change? Are voices being heard? By advocating the measures above, we believe our new government can address the skills gap, fostering a more competitive and innovative UK economy. What do you think?

If you are an organisation or individual looking to grow your talent network, then get in touch with us at Diverse Talent Networks and we can start inclusively building your network.

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