Rewrite your playbook for business resiliency

Ready your business for tomorrow by refining the digital skills of today’s talent

2020 has provided Britain’s businesses with the impetus to make real, long lasting change. Though the pandemic’s course is unpredictable, reassurance can be found in a straightforward route to resilience: the upskilling of your existing talent pool.

“In an age of ubiquitous technology, it is human skills, creativity and capability that will form the competitive edge for any organisation,” says the World Economic Forum, declaring “a reskilling revolution” to be a “critical investment for businesses, workers and economies alike.” This stance was taken in its January 2019 report some 12 months before Covid-19 reached Britain’s shores.

Apprenticeships are a crucial part of this reskilling revolution. For existing employees and new starters alike, their new competencies relate to the specialisms your business needs to survive and thrive now and in the future. They offer a fast track to resilience by putting your people at the centre of your strategy. This has been true for some time and now the consequences of Covid-19 have brought a new level of urgency.

An explosive formula for change

The pandemic has undoubtedly been an accelerant, but the touchpaper was lit some time ago. Pioneering investment in digital transformation and early adoption of cutting-edge technologies has already created an urgent need to rethink workforce strategies to compete and maintain relevance in the marketplace.  

The addition of an economy in lockdown has led to the combustion of business as we know it. Rapid upskilling and reskilling of workers is now elemental to the process of recovery and revolution. 

A new chapter in employability

The new playbook for resilience must include a chapter for the creation of a reskilling and upskilling employee programme. With budget allocation under scrutiny to meet the unexpected cost of a sudden remote workforce setup, such a programme can provide a more cost-effective alternative to expensive recruitment methods. Furthermore, it allows resources to be focused on high priority areas of the business and building the skill sets needed to support them. 

More digital-orientated roles are being added to the workforce, allowing companies to shield against the unforeseen whilst flexing with demand. The NCH at Northeastern apprenticeship programmes allows you to pinpoint disrupted functions and have your people start dedicating 20 percent of their job to learning invaluable, future-oriented skills. 

One of the greatest benefits of NCH at Northeastern apprenticeship programmes is the speed in which apprentices become competent with their new skill sets. Apprentices are able to apply what they are learning directly to their role, helping staff to become billable in less than three months. 

Closing the skills gap

When it comes to needing to learn these new digital competencies, there is not only an awareness amongst the workforce but an appetite too. According to market research by Isos, two-thirds of working adults are looking to their employers to retrain them for the jobs of the future.

What employers are discovering is the existence of previously untapped talent pools that can be leveraged to strengthen key parts of their business. Outside the company, more people are ‘work ready’ and just need the technical and business skills to excel. From within, existing employees are primed to learn immediate skills without the delay of a traditional HE program or expense of onboarding from scratch. 

It’s vital that businesses seize this opportunity to upskill now. By 2030, nine in 10 UK employees will need to reskill to remain fit for the world of work, predicts the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).  By shoring up high priority areas with specific digital skills through a bespoke apprenticeship scheme, you can set your business and people apart from the pack long into the future.

No time like the present

In March 2020, insolvencies surged by 50 percent. London saw the highest rise in company dissolutions, up by 6,431 compared with a year earlier. More than 1,000 UK start-ups have since collapsed, along with high street stalwarts and household names. The risk of doing nothing is too high a price to pay. 

By taking advantage of the skills-based marketplace that apprenticeship schemes offer, businesses can not only redefine their priorities and refocus operational efficiencies. The outcome is a new playbook for business resilience and a readiness for tomorrow, whatever it might bring.

 

For information on NCH at Northeastern’s apprenticeship programmes, contact us at apprenticeships@nchlondon.ac.uk