How are public sector leaders tackling the workforce skills shortage?

Public sector organisations have faced several challenges over the past 18 months and have been forced to adapt to new ways of working, including the implementation of new digital technologies to allow the sector to continue providing excellent services.

It is clear as we move forward and follow the UK Government’s agenda to Build Back Better after the pandemic, the public sector must not ignore the need to innovate.

The need to innovate is expected in the public sector and is no longer considered desirable or worthwhile to stick with the current procedures or technology. Meaning, public sector leaders must turn to the next generation of skills to help tackle the challenges organisations are facing.

So how do we attract the next generation and provide early opportunities to help fill the skills gap?

To answer this question, on October 26th, we hosted a webinar featuring Hannan Sarwar, Town Councillor, Wilmslow Council; John Mark Williams, Chief Executive, Institute of Leadership & Management; Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director – Skills & Employment, Greater London Authority, and Clive Webb, Senior Insights Manager, ACCA Global.

This webinar looked to explore the current skills gap challenges and how future proofing the next generation could solve the public sector workforce skills shortage.

Here are some key highlights from the panel discussion.

We had the pleasure to hear directly from Hannan Sarwar, who shared with the audience his experiences of studying, running a family business and being a Town Councillor, whilst being in the Gen Z category and explained how the younger generation desire “clear career pathways and careers that allow them to grow and that are equal”. He added: “It is very different from previous generations where you work to earn a living. Students and Gen Z see their careers to develop and learn from."

John Mark Williams highlighted what he believes to be the top three challenges within the public sector in future proofing its workforce and how we can overcome these barriers to attract the younger generation currently seeking opportunities.

“Being accountable for the wrong people, such as politicians. There are the challenges of budget schedules and my own experience of hiring Gen Z and having to follow these budgets… Public sector time scales for development are long ones and can become a challenge in attracting new talent in the sector.”

Michelle Cuomo-Boorer delighted us with the changes that have been made down in London to support Gen Z through the various pathways available to develop the skills needed to pursue careers in the public sector.

“We made £11m of AEB funding available to support our providers to expand online provision, adapt courses, and build capacity to ensure they are equipped to reach as many new and existing learners as possible.”

We also had the pleasure of hearing from a representative at ACCA Global and specifically Clive Webb, the creator of the Gen Z report, Ground-Breakers: Gen Z and the Future of Accountancy. Who broke down the report to our audience into hybrid working, mental health, progression, learning, CSR and recruitment.

 

If you would like to watch the full webinar follow the link below.

https://youtu.be/3s0SkQ8JEYc 

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Our October/November 2021 edition of PSE delves into a number of key areas for public sector progress, including decarbonisation and digital transformation. Equally read our exclusive interview with Sir Richard Leese, as he reflects on a remarkable 25 year career with Manchester City Council, while elsewhere we learn how to evolve our green capabilities in public sector transport.

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