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Revolution, rather than evolution


I ATTENDED a launch event earlier this month to announce Milton Keynes College’s exciting new partnership with digital marketing experts Klood Academy.

The college will deliver four new courses at Klood’s purpose-built Academy auditorium, focusing on key skills such as customer service, communication and project management, which will all complement Klood Academy’s existing prospectus of digital marketing courses.

I used my presentation at the event as an opportunity to discuss the changing world of work and the importance of corporate education in what is possibly the most volatile employment market anyone will have known.

Skills and their development will always be high on the agenda for employers and staff but the increasing need to diversify, retrain and adapt to market requirements looks set to bring about a revolution, rather than an evolution, of how we all work.

We can all be certain that many of the jobs we know and rely on today simply will not exist in eight years, meaning that adaptive learning is vitally important.

New research from the government suggests that changes to the work environment will require huge shifts in leadership styles. Managers will need to learn how to lead a workforce that they never see other than on a screen while moves towards a project-based organisation could impact the need for some high-skilled and managerial positions.

If current trends continue, we can expect to see further advances in business flexibility and slow but steady innovations. However, the expected modest economic growth that this will bring is likely to create ferocious competition for low-skilled jobs because of the gap to higher-level skills. In turn, this will require employers to work in partnership with education and training providers to be on the front foot creating bespoke skills development programmes for staff or risk falling behind the competition.

While many of the traditional white-collar roles may disappear, this will add importance to softer skills such as creativity, personal agility and adaptability – attributes which often need to be coaxed out of employees rather than implanted through training. Instead, other skills such as leadership and mentoring will need to be taught, encouraging businesses to identify possible leaders through their individual abilities and develop them into managers of the future.

Why is the need for flexible, versatile corporate education so great? We can be certain that advances in technology and interconnectivity will herald greater digitisation of workplaces and products while a move towards more adaptive workers will create greater hybridisation of skill sets to meet requirements. But will your business be ready for the changes that we cannot predict?

By investing in the development of their workforce, businesses stand to create more talented, more loyal and more engaged teams with greater levels of professionalism in the areas that matter with reduced risk of error and wastage.

After all, those will always be consistently desirable attributes in a constantly changing environment where the main business goals remain growth, performance and sustainability.

To discover ways of working in partnership with Milton Keynes College and The Business & Leadership Centre, e-mail business.centre@mkcollege.ac.uk or telephone 01908 684520.


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