Skip to content Skip to footer
Search

Loading Results

New world. New skills. reporting workshop, 27 January

The world has changed and for businesses operating within it, the last few months have forced an accelerated need for a skills strategy and effective reporting on the back of Covid-19. In these unprecedented times no company has failed to be impacted in some way.

Against this background transparency and accountability has never been more important. The workshop led by PwC experts explored how this agenda can be prioritised in such a challenging environment.

We were delighted to be joined by external panellists to provide their perspective on this debate.

It covered insights and examples from top reporting organisations along with key findings from our own research. The workshop gives participants the chance to share their issues with other like-minded professionals.

Playback of this video is not currently available

1:26:18

Transcript

Fiona Camenzuli:

Good morning everyone, I think we will get started. Welcome to all of you and thank you very much for joining us this morning.

The focus of our event today is to explore how organisations are communicating their upskilling plans, and the activities and how they are doing it, and why they are doing it, whether it's a formal or informal way of communicating. This is a real growing importance and we are really delighted to have this. This is our first New world.New skills reporting workshop for BPTA. I am also really excited to say that we are going to be launching our reporting and upskilling award which we will share more details on later.

Just to introduce myself, my name is Fiona Camenzuli. I am a partner here at PwC, and I lead our People & Organisation Consulting practice in the UK, and I also lead our New world.New skills campaign in the UK which focuses very much on how we engage with organisations, shape the debate, how we think about how we can contribute and help society, really push forward and help the upskilling agenda, and also working with organisations to help them bridge the skills gap.

Just before I take you through the agenda, I also wanted to share something hot of the press is really interesting, but actually today we are launching and publishing a joint report that we have written with the World Economic Forum on upskilling for shared prosperity. There is some really interesting findings in this report, both from a global and a UK perspective, and just a couple of things I wanted to share to put into context why the upskilling agenda is so important for us, in addition to sort of a social impact and economic impact.

What some of the findings from the report in the UK include that when you look at the benefits that can be obtained by closing the skills gap, they are really substantial. So, for the UK, we would rank only behind China, the US, India, and Spain in terms of the absolute GDP gains that we could potentially achieve by closing the skills gap in UK. A model that's been built through in the report estimates a potential boost of 87 billion pounds of GDP, which is equivalent to 3.4% of total UK GDP by 2030. From an employment perspective, this is equivalent to generating additional 210,000 jobs by 2030. The additional GDP gains really come through actually uplift in productivity, so labour gains through productivity. There is a clear social imperative to close the skills gap, but there was also a very clear business productivity and economic impact closing the skills gap. As I said that report is being published today and you will be able to see it, but I think it gives a really interesting context and backdrop to why this is important.

I will quickly take you through the agenda now. We are going to start this morning with my colleague, Alan McGill. Alan is a partner at PwC, he is our Global Sustainability and Assurance leader. He is going to provide a short overview of the reporting environment and the return of our building public trust awards in 2021.

We are then going to hear from Bethan Grillo, who is our MD for Global Purpose Corporate Responsibility and New world. New skills globally. She is going to provide an overview of PwC’s New world. New skills journey, and also a bit more colour about some of the work we've been doing with UNICEF in this area.

Following this, we are really grateful to have a very impressive panel of guests, who are going to share insights from how their organisations are reporting and upskilling. We have from the National Citizen Service, Simon Sharkey Woods, who is Chief Information Officer and Naim Moukarzel, who is Chief Programme Officer. We are also joined by Jessica Kirbell, who is People Director for Organisational Design from Heathrow Airport Holdings.

After we've heard from them and what they are doing in their organisations, I will be chairing a virtual fireside chat with all three of them plus a colleague of mine, Juliet Stuttard. We are going to discuss some of the themes that have emerged and post some of the questions that you've put to the panel in advance of this session.

As I said, if you do want to post questions as we go through, please do post them in the chat, and we will pick them up as we go along. I promise that we will have you all finished by 10:30 and we will wrap up. So, now I am going to hand over to Alan McGill, who is going to provide an overview on the Building Trust public Trust Awards, Alan.

Alan McGill:

Thank you, Fiona. Thank you and good morning and welcome to all of you as well this morning. Fantastic to see so many of you engaging in this new workshop that PwC is putting on. As Fiona outlined, I have the overall responsibility for our Building Public Trust Awards programme. That program has been running now for actually 18 years and essentially it has always been about looking at the openness, the accountability and transparency with which organisations report, and report around really key issues that affect their organisation. It's fantastic to see that new world and new skills coming in, into the family of the BPT programme, because we absolutely recognise that the whole social agenda, certainly over the last 12 months has taken a huge dialling up and increasing interest to many different parts of civil society.

We all recognise the issues that have gone on and we all recognise the challenges that lie ahead. Therefore, I do think that we are going to see quite a revolution in the reporting space that we see here, around the sort of information that companies are going to start to increasingly and more frequently actually disclose publicly, again, with key different stakeholder groups.

A lot of that is now being attached as well to the issue of purpose, organisations understanding they need to re-engage, connect with society in a way that perhaps they haven't done over the last 20 or 30 years as businesses and organisations. We are clearly seeing a shift as well around the issue of values, and of course, impact. And again, with some of the statistics and information that Fiona just opened with, you can see that there are huge impacts that you as businesses can have in huge positive ways that actually again will influence society as we move forward.

So, it's fantastic to see that we are, as I said, engaging in this New world. New skills, and this workshop this morning. You're going to hear from some fantastic speakers, some really hopefully insightful discussions, debates, conversations. We are certainly looking forward that in 2021, when hopefully, fingers crossed we can all get back together again more so in person, that we can issue an award, we can therefore get together and celebrate that success of some fantastic reporting. We will be reading all of that information that you guys produce and lovingly put out there into that public domain. But with that, I will just say thank you, and I will hand back to Fiona.

Have a fantastic workshop.

Fiona:

Thank you very much, Alan. Before I hand over to Bethan, we are going to just hold a quick poll. If you can go into Slido, there are two questions here that we would like to get your views on. The first: “To what extent is upskilling, digital or otherwise, a priority of your organisation?”

We've already got some answers coming through. A gradual progression seems to be, actually, this is interesting stuff being encouraged to improve the digital skills where possible. This sentiment is very much in line with some of the thinking that we've had around New world. New skills over the past couple of years around what we've termed citizen-led or employee-led innovation and drive, so giving the power to start to really make the change. But it's being closely followed by actually making sure that we create a cultural shift, so your staff being provided with the time and tools. Very interesting. Clearly, we are definitely seeing this topic, and I am glad that we've raise rephrased the question, digital or otherwise, because there has been quite a focus on digital skills but I think we will hear when we also have our speakers come in. It's also important to think about the software and human skills that sit around those to really make that work, so that's interesting.

The next question: “Which statement best describes how COVID-19 has impacted your organisation’s upskilling plans?”

I know what I am expecting to see here, I am just waiting to see if it comes true when the results come. It is actually reflecting, so this idea of actually is accelerated the need, is absolutely what we have heard in talking to organisations ourselves. I think that both the fact that many organisations have to go to a virtual working model overnight, particularly in the UK, that's definitely I think crystallised the need for change. But it has also crystallised a need for organisations to look at how they transform their organisations, and hence the need to upskill in the context of that.

Interestingly, for some it has paused or caused you to slow down and that's understandable given the economic impact of COVID. But, overall, you can see the majority of response here is it’s either increased awareness that has accelerated the need for change, or actually interestingly is the one that has prioritised the need for re-skilling rather than upskilling. Actually, there is something about as we broaden our focus on skills, the concept of upskilling and reskilling become actually not interchangeable but they should be part of the same conversation, because it's all about getting the right roles and skills that fit for the future.

Fantastic, thank you for participating in that poll. Thank you very much.

I am now going to pass over to Bethan Grillo. Bethan is going to talk a bit more about why upskilling is important to us, and also a bit more about what you’ve doing with UNICEF.

Bethan, over to you.

Bethan Grillo:

Thank you very much, Fiona. Can I just check if you can hear me okay?

Fiona:

Perfect.

Bethan:

Thank you and it's fantastic to see so many people on the call today. Really, what I was hoping to do was just to share some insights into our own journey around upskilling, and to tell the story a bit of our own inexperience as we've embarked on this, as so many of you have, I am sure too.

What I'd like to start is, actually in 2018, it was really hard for us to ignore that our clients were increasingly concerned about having employees with the right skills for their organisations or businesses to be successful into the future. The trends have been really clear to us for a while, but was underscored to our global Chairman, in fact, during Davos of the same year where it was a dominant topic of conversation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was the issue front of mind for many CEOs, policymakers, and Government leaders at that time. They all knew that their organisations needed to transform, but their people did not necessarily have the right skills for the organisations they wanted to become.

As Alan mentioned right at the beginning, purpose is inextricably linked to these issues and as many of you may know the purpose of our business is to build trust in society and solve important problems. It became increasingly obvious to us that we really needed to act on this issue in particular. With that in mind and to cut a long story short, we quickly established a global program called New world. New skills that Fiona has referred to already today. There was an explicit intention baked into the programme, which was to meet our purpose by addressing this global upskilling challenge.

So, the programme was really designed to be purpose driven and holistic from the outset, and global in scope. In fact, it's probably one of the fastest programmes that we've mobilised on globally as a business. I am sure I don’t need to underscore this point to everybody on the call, but as we've just seen even in the poll results that you quickly highlighted there Fiona. Then first time COVID-19 of course has made New world. New skills more urgent and more relevant than ever. What we are seeing is that the pandemic is rebalancing the labour market, it is creating large scale workforce challenges and it's putting many more organisations into survival mode, while at the same time placing a premium really on organisational resilience and transformation. We are really clear as well that the pandemic, as I'm sure is clear to all of us even when we watch the news at night, it’s exacerbating acute challenges in disadvantaged communities in particular, that already were lacking opportunity prior the pandemic.

Given the nature of the challenge, we knew it could not be addressed by a single organisation alone. And for that reason, we really quickly established a call to action. It was intended to convene Governments, businesses, and other stakeholders around thought leadership and in the collective way to bring about change. Fiona mentions our report that we just released with the World Economic Forum, and this is one example of a number of pieces of thought leadership and collaboration that we've actively engaged in as part of New world. New skills.

The report that Fiona mentioned was actually launched as part of the Davos dialogues and globally just to highlight one of the global findings, we found that by closing skills gaps and focusing more on inclusive growth, it's possible to boost global GDP by 6.5 trillion and create 5.3 million nett new jobs by 2030. Underlying the report is a really, I would say, bold call to action for Governments, businesses, and educational institutions, in particular, to work together to forge new ways of helping people to develop the skills they need for not only the jobs of today, but tomorrow too. And really, the overall aim of the report is to spur more action among business leaders, policymakers and also in stakeholders. To really engage in such a large-scale upscaling of people that's necessary to ensure that people can participate in the economy meaningfully.

Of course, I'd be remiss not to talk about how we've also experienced this journey of the business, we are on very similar journey to many of our clients, to many of our stakeholders. We've known ourselves that we've had to upskill and reskill really a large percentage of our own workforce to make sure that we as a business were fit for the future. There really is, as I am sure, you can imagine many aspects of this, but I would say underpinning them all is a really firm commitment to a system-led approach within our business. So, we've been very clear from the outset to explain the strategic imperative of what we are doing and why, to provide the relevant tools and materials to our people, and then really to enable them to drive innovation and new ways of doing things themselves. Since we first began, we've trained large numbers of people often using in fact new technologies used to do so. So, we have a Digital Fitness app, and in our US firm we in fact mobilised 55,000 people to take ownership of their own visual knowledge and upskilling journeys. And what we're seeing now really are the benefits of the action that we've taken so far.

I think one of the most obvious to us is that our people have bought in, and that has been a result of our firm commitment to enable them to change work on the grounds. We've started to see improvements in processes, hours being saved, but also a real increase in the energy among our people and their awareness of these issues. In the first 18 months, we went from zero system-led assets to over 6000 assets, which have now been downloaded more than 3 million times by people around the world. We've been able to take over 7 million hours of work and redirect that capacity to higher value activities.

I guess one of the long-term benefits is that we've created a new foundation for the firm for the future. We've built on the skills and the mindsets and the behaviours that are going to enable our people to adopt the next generation of technology, and to improve their ability to adapt to new situations and that has been really key during the pandemic of course. At the same time, we've embraced data driven decision making, and so we know we've got confidence that we are making smarter decisions for our people and bringing better insights to our clients and our stakeholders too.

With that said, we know that there is still a huge amount of work to do. This is particularly true as more and more organisations realise the sheer extent of the transformation needed. So, while we weren't in any way precedence of course, the ‘New world’ elements of our programmes and the new world components of the New world. New skills initiative is really coming to us. Again, the pandemic has accelerated many of the trends and issues that led to the programme being created in the first place.

We also felt really strongly that too many communities were being left behind, due to the barriers they face in acquiring the skills necessary to enter and thrive in the digital world. We, therefore, give our global Corporate Responsibility programmes to New world. New skills, ensuring that our community activities and investments supported people to access new opportunities to upskill.

As part of this effort and as Fiona mentioned at the beginning, we established a global collaboration with UNICEF and within UNICEF specifically an initiative called Generation Unlimited, which has been set up to support young people around the world to gain the skills they need to transition into entrepreneurship and employment. There are a number of components to our engagement with Generation Unlimited. We have country programmes in India and South Africa but, for those of you who are interested, we also fairly recently at the end of last year released some thought leadership around the digital divide which, again, has been really present and unignorable for a really long time, but nonetheless is being exacerbated by COVID-19, which has really serious implications as we all know for societies and economies if left unaddressed.

So, again we have tried to focus attention of our business our people, but also our board of stakeholders on the roles and responsibilities that different groups have to try and confront that challenge in a meaningful and long-term way.

Within the UK specifically, and through the Social Entrepreneurs Club, we have a network of over 250 social entrepreneurs who are often mentoring, coaching, networking and skills development, designed to help them develop and grow their businesses and impact. Also, the UK firm has designed a fully virtual programme for this academic year in light of COVID, which is aimed at schools with a higher than average proportion of students eligible for free school meals.

Our own people have been absolutely integral to these efforts. So, thousands actually of our own people around the world have been volunteering since the programme began. Since COVID started, we have almost overnight in some cases switched our activities online, but nonetheless, have been able to reach now millions of people globally in terms of the different communities that we have really focused our attention on to try and make a difference.

So, I hope some of those insights have been useful to you in terms of why we are doing what we're doing, and where we are on the journey. Like I said, we have a really long way to go, but perhaps Fiona, I can hand back to you now, and I am sure you will be able to move on to the next segment of the agenda. Thank you so much for having me.

Fiona:

Bethan, thank you very much, that’s great, thank you. I am now going to just take a moment to introduce the first two of our three guests today. We are very grateful to have all three of them.

So, from the National Citizen Advice Service, we have Simon Sharkey Woods who is Chief Information Officer and Chief People Officer at the NCS Trust. We also have Naim Moukarzel, who is the Chief Programme Officer at NCS. Just to give you a little bit of background on both of them just before I hand over.

Simon has, after working in technical roles for the first 10 years of his career, Simon has transitioned into digital and technology leadership, and have developed quite a passion for bridging the gap between digital and technology teams in the organisations that they serve. My understanding is, Simon, that you also have had a long-standing academic interest in emotional intelligence and leadership. And Simon took up the management of NCS Trust people team as Chief People Officer on top of his core role of managing Information Services. He now covers IS people property and estate management. Previous to NCS, Simon was the IT Director at City of London Corporation, City of London police; and prior to that, he was head of IT Delivery at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Naim has spent the last 4 years establishing NCS Trust’s programme department, focusing on service design, inclusion, research and valuation, and innovation. Prior to joining NCS Trust, Naim had a career in the British Army holding operation on strategic roles in both the Field Army and Ministry of Defence. Before the army, Naim had a brief period as a Learning and Development consultant in the Middle East. I am absolutely delighted to hand over to both of you. Simon, take it away.

Simon Sharkey Woods:

Thank you very much, Fiona, I was looking wishfully at my picture, thinking that’s how my hair used to look, so I think I’m suffering at the moment in lockdown. Thank you very much to PwC and New world. New skills team for providing this opportunity. I am going to talk a little bit about NCS, our past 12 months and what we've been doing to do good in 2020.

So, for everyone on the call who isn’t that familiar with National Citizen Service, we are a Government funded youth programme for 16-17-year olds where we bring young people together at pivotal moment in their lives, just on the cusp of adulthood, with a commitment to improving and get them to have a commitment to improving as well, social mobility, social inclusion and social good in the country.

During COVID, during last year we repurposed, and obviously our programme is predominantly residentially based, we have a skills re-connectivity week in the typical year. We had to pivot and go online, so our ‘Staying Connected’ hub actually attracted over 290,000 unique visitors. Our ‘Keep doing good’ initiatives onboarded young people to donate about 200,000 hours to rebuild their local communities, in those gaps when obviously we could do things like that. Despite the pandemic, the young people actually participated in our Autumn programme, we actually got a figure that was higher than any figure we've had previously. We had 16,500 young people taking part in our Autumn programme. That's above our target that we set for ourselves and over 50% more than in 2019, and I think that actually says something about the demand that was out there to do something productive.

On top of that, we supported 500 schools and colleges with NCS content benefitting over 87,000 young people. We were independently assessed as actually providing a £3.49 back into society for every £1 spent on NCS. Since it started formally in 2011, over 600,000 young people have actually taken part in the programme and contributed something like 141/2 million hours of volunteering into their local communities.

To support all of that, we obviously have to have platforms that connect us to the young people that we serve, but also to the partners, the great part of the network we have who deliver on the ground. Upskilling and ensuring NCS is a great place to work has meant that we have retained a fantastic team, who build and support those services and platforms that we provide to make all of this happen - it's absolutely vital.

Opportunities within NCS Trust to learn come from colleagues, and there's some great colleagues at NCS Trust, and they are always willing to share their knowledge, and we can also provide more formal training, obviously. The more formal training has come through building really strategic partnerships with some of the great organisations, who really bought into the mission that we have. It's the mix of a great culture, where there is no fear obviously, combined with access to great learning pathways that has kept our attrition low and our productivity high. This is the essential component that's made us successful in keeping those platforms going. One of the things I am also proud to say is that, I actually have two NCS graduates in the Information Services team. We are hoping to do more of that and bring young people through the organisation that serves them.

In terms of reporting, we obviously share an awful lot about our approach and things like this so it's great you have us to talk to you today, but we also connect very heavily with the rest of the Not For Profit sector. The key message I have for them particularly, the Not For Profit sector is, it is possible to build and maintain great teams even technical specialist teams when you can't pay the higher salaries. It's absolutely critical to focus on culture and the skills that you can provide those team members, and thinking creatively about how you keep this so that they still can grow their careers, whilst supporting your mission in the direction you are trying to go in.

That's the key takeaway for me that I would like to leave you with, that it's all about building the right cultural basis, and then providing the right skills pathways for your teams, and then you can drive greater impact on your organisational mission.

So, I believe Lisa is now going to play a short video that shows NCS came from our rebranding exercise and then my colleague Naim Moukarzel will talk about the skills and how we approached skills aspect with our young people themselves. Thank you very much.

Naim Moukarzel:

Well, thank you so much. It's pretty hard to follow a video like that. Anything I say will not have quite the same level of production value, but we're very proud I think of what we've achieved, and we are mostly very proud of what we've seen the young people we support achieve. So, it's really exciting to be with you today to talk about this critical element at the heart of what NCS does.

I am going to start with a challenge. I don’t think it's an underestimation to say that inequality of opportunity and access is up there with the greatest existential challenges humanity faces over the next couple of generations and I think Bethan helped to paint a bit of a picture of that. From her remarks, ‘my children are five and three years old, and we will fail them and I will fail if their children and grandchildren don't exist alongside a thriving and healthy natural environment, but also will fail them if they are not growing up and developing in a world where there is ongoing access to opportunity and development.’ That is where for me the subject of today's discussions come in and why it's really interesting to be here today. I think by creating transparency and placing value in how organisations, not just develop people, but talk about how they develop people, we tell a story of what is important to us. That has the power to impact systemically in the world, not just in our organisations, and in our particular countries or geographies that we are based in.

I think in his remarks, Alan pointed to how we increasingly see ourselves living in a world where people care about purpose, but also feel disconnected at times from what their purpose is. And in a way, that presents a huge opportunity for any organisation to demonstrate how they can help people to connect to that purpose and feel like they've got an opportunity to grow. So, I think connecting people to their purpose, helping them to understand how you're going to help them grow, as Fiona said in her opening remarks, it has a demonstrable economic and business value, and for me that's at least one of the key goals upskilling should be fulfilling, and why it should matter to an organisation. Helping people tell their story in a way that feels empowering to them, and personal to them, whilst of course remaining valuable to you as the employer. And in a world where there is an ongoing discourse about the future of work, which can at times be pretty terrifying as much as it can be exciting, showing how we can think about that collectively at an individual level and at a societal level, it is something that's important to us at NCS and at the heart of what we do.

NCS exists to create a country of confident connected and caring citizens, where everyone feels at home. It's a big vision, but it's not one that we shy away from. It's one the young people we engage with each year, whether that's physically or digitally, make me believe is realistic, albeit it's going to take a lot of effort and a lot of a collective endeavour to get there.

So, whether in our instance, in our particular case, we are delivering a residential experience that Simon briefly outlined what those are. We traditionally take people away on a three or four-week residential experience or we're doing community-based volunteering, we are driving digital engagement and content, or we are building employee support packages for the current UK Government’s kickstart scheme. At the heart of all of those things, is a very simple, easily communicable framework of skills development that's designed, I would say, to bridge and transcend each person's life, whether that's as a student, as a citizen, as an employee or as a private individual. And by designing our services to help young people connect themselves to one another and to their communities and their employer in that way, that's how we are hoping to feed into our pipeline of a lifelong development of skills. As I've pointed to, the key is being able to articulate not only what skills are developing in the moment with us, but using that to then articulate where they are trying to get to and to think about where they've been and what they've achieved. We use a range of journeying tools and these don't always need to be super sophisticated. We also spend a lot of time explicitly talking about how different activities linked to the mastery of certain skills as a young person journeys with us.

What I think is important, and how this links back to the challenge that I started with, is that we don't talk about those skills in a way that is unique to us. We have joined a thing called the Skills Builder Partnership, there are others thinks similar out there, but it at its heart has eight essential skills and a huge amount of development can be designed and built around that, whether that's digital or physical. I think creating frameworks and a commonality of language that we don't jealously guard as IP for individual organisations, has been the key to how we've unlocked at scale, and then how we hope we can bridge into and build partnerships that cross those boundaries of our lives, whether that's the space where you are educated and learning, the space that we live in and build relationships in, or the space that we work in.

So, that's probably where I would leave you, is that for us the reason upskilling is worth investing in is that actually it helps to unlock equality of opportunity and remove barriers to access. It brings people together and helps them to find that purpose, and ultimately, that will serve any employer and society incredibly well, going into the future. Because, everything that I see when I read the rooms, is that we are looking to have increasingly more fluid careers, and not define ourselves in simple singularities. My father spent his life defined as an accountant, very few of us will be just one thing for life, and certainly we will not work for one organisation for life. Thinking about how we can work collectively and collaboratively in this space is really critical.

I look forward to engaging with your questions later on. Thank you.

Fiona:

Naim, thank you so much and Simon, thank you. I am smiling because when you mentioned about your father being defined as an accountant, on my screen I can see someone I know very well who is an accountant and I could see him smiling as you said that, it tickled me a little bit.

We will come back to some of the points you've raised when we get to the fireside chat. There is some really interesting things for us to pull out. I also got to say I really loved the video. I think it's interesting we talk about reporting and that was one of the primary reasons we're all gathered here today to talk about the importance of reporting in relation to upskilling, and the video is an interesting example of how using different media can actually think about informal ways of reporting as well as further more traditional paper and print methods. I thought that was a really enlightening and interesting way to get the message across. So, thank you very much.

I am now going to pass over to our next guest speaker. Really delighted to introduce Jessica Kirbell, who is the People Director for Organisational Design at Heathrow Airport Holdings.

Jessica is a very experienced HR leader. She has an excellent, amazing track record of delivering sustainable business change and transformation. I am sure, Jessica will talk about this a bit more, but at the moment Heathrow is transforming its digital back office capability. Jessica is leading on delivering the people change and transformation agenda with a view to future proofing Heathrow and I think that future proofing piece is really also what's at the heart of all of this. I am going to pass over to Jess. Over to you.

Jessica Kirbell:

Lovely, thank you, Fiona, good morning, Before I jump in, just look to a few people I can see on the screen, just to give me a nod that you can hear me okay? Yep, brilliant thank you.

Actually, before I jump in, I thought I will just touch on the video, and Fiona you are quite right informal reporting is equally impactful. What I am going to talk about is probably more formal reporting in terms of what you are seeing, our annual reports or sustainability reports. But what the video showed me is, Heathrow did a great video with lots of young school kids in our community, we invited them into the airport. The students did roles that we typically have within the airport and actually invited a colleague into our boardroom who sat in our CEO’s seat and filmed her being CEO for a day. And actually, that connection of real tangible what we are doing and what we're trying to achieve can be far more impactful sometimes than a 20-30-page financial report on our internet site. I just wanted to draw that connection because that is really quite impactful and powerful and I agree that the video was amazing, so thank you for sharing.

Just looking at Heathrow, what I want to talk about is our upskilling agenda, the journey we've been on and bringing to life some real tangible practical examples of what we're doing and how we're reporting on it. So, at Heathrow our vision is to give passengers the best airport service in the world and our purpose is about making every journey better. But we realised, to be successful we have to be sustainable in how we do this, a massive part of that sustainability is upskilling and growing colleagues and working with our community to do that.

In 2017, we introduced our Heathrow 2.0 plan. This is what we report on, this is what you will see on our internet sites. Why 2.0, this is all linked to carbon, so keeping below that 2.0 degrees with carbon. The plan focuses around four pillars. One is a great place to work, another is a great place to live, third is a thriving sustainable economy, and finally is a world worth travelling. And what we are focusing on particularly and relevant for today's conversation is a great place to work. And what we mean by that is unlocking potential, and we talk about growing careers at Heathrow, not just jobs. So, we paint the picture of you can join to be something one day, Naim touched on it, but you can move across multiple organisations at Heathrow, what we call as Heathrow disciplines/skills, and how we provide the tools to support colleagues and the community through that.

So, if I just talk briefly and bring to life a few examples of a handful of things that we are doing, both internally and with our community. I talk of team Heathrow quite a lot, so Team Heathrow is our community, we have over 400 suppliers and commercial partners working at Heathrow. To give you an idea of scale, we’ve got about 6000 employees, but the campus itself has in excess of 70,000. So, for us to work we need to first deliver that vision, we have to work together, we have to be hand in glove, we all have to be heading in that same direction.

If I talk about internally, we all know the world of work is changing rapidly, technology is coming along like a juggernaut, and we can't ignore it. I would like to bring to life an example with our security officers. Many of you would have travelled through the airports, gone through the security lanes. Heathrow have invested in that technology significantly to remain competitive, to remain safe, to be productive, to be efficient. Now what that's not done is removed the role of our security officer. In fact. what it has done is, created opportunity to free up that colleague, which has created not a digital upskilling challenge, but rather a softer skills one. And Fiona you touched on that right at the start of this call, is the criticality between upskilling in a digital world but not losing sight of soft skills. So, airports are incredibly anxious environments. We know from our customers and our passengers they want to talk to people not machines. So, we are investing in listening, empathy, and communication, so that our colleagues can provide what our passengers really need.

Equally, we want to be a good neighbour, we want to have a really good position in our community. More broadly and externally we have set up what we call Heathrow's Employment and Skills Academy. This works with our partners and our community, and a large list of initiatives that we work with to engender continuous learning, and that's everything from Heathrow, Heathrow induction cultural awareness, where the hugely diverse footprint of Heathrow. Language training, both for customers as well as for colleagues in terms of English as a second language, so we see the benefits in, providing things like English language, beyond the workplace. We’ve been able to do a parents evening, we’ve been able to go to the doctors, but equally offering language courses like Mandarin and Russian because those are some of our biggest populations coming through the airport.

Additionally, we offer career development opportunity, and I link back to our Heathrow 2.0 plan and strategy Annual Report. We have 10 flagship goals, two of which are linked to great place to work. The first is, we commit to representing our local community at every level within our organisation and we look to implement and facilitate 10,000 apprentices. So, we are working with our skills academy on career development opportunities, and that's apprenticeships from levels 2 through to 7, everything from customer services to a Masters in Leadership and managements. We are working with government bodies to look at career adaptability, and I am also going to touch on what Naim referenced earlier, is the Skills Builders Framework. I am not sure those who are probably quite familiar with the tool that actually started as a tool in schools to help teachers shape the building blocks for students in how they learn. This has been extended into the workplace and beyond into just everyday life. The eight core essential skills, things like listening, aiming high, leadership is what we are starting to use and roll out across Team Heathrow, especially with the downturn that we have experienced as a result of COVID, helping colleagues to identify what skills they do have and actually how they are transferable into other organisations across the patch.

A couple of other things, the Skills Builder framework brings simplicity, and easy to use language. For anything to be successful it has got to be easily understood. A real example, I would like to bring to life is, we’ve got a schools education programme, called the ‘Young Explorers’. That programme is about going into schools - we use the frameworks; the language is the same. We take a real-life problem that we are trying to solve - sustainable travel between the terminals, how we move passengers. We asked the students to work that problem through 3D models and PowerPoint and present back to us as they would in the workplace. There has to be easy connection, removal of language, jargon language that we tend to favour and use in business for simplicity. The supporting tools are really important.

But if I then go back to Heathrow 2.0 plan, so why do we publish it, or why am I talking about it, why is it relevant? Actually a few of the speakers so far have highlighted the importance and the three that I call out is, it is all about demonstrating value impact and purpose. Now we can talk about the return, we can talk about investors are increasingly aware and noticing what companies are doing, but actually it's all about the right thing to do, which is actually one of Heathrow's values. We need to be a responsible neighbour, we need to demonstrate rather why we are doing what we're doing, and the company we want to be.

And quite simply if I was to summarise reporting and why it is so important is very simply put, what you report on gets done. It holds organisations to account in the public domain and I am big believer of actually it should be both your positive and where you’ve not got it quite right. So, if I focus on COVID for a moment, absolutely, your poll earlier Fiona I could have answered too. We've had to scale back significantly because of the impact of Heathrow, but equally it's accelerated what we're doing. In being able to report, we’ve been able to declare that. Yes, we've slowed down, but you know what, our ambition is still there and we are not wavering, our targets are still our flagship, goals are still the same, but we've been able to explain why but we want that to be visible and we want to be held accountable for that.

Then, just to briefly touch on COVID and the impact as well. In answer to your poll, how we have had to speed up in response to digital upskilling. And to bring to life a real example, we currently have Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 closed, because passenger numbers are so much lower. We've had to move colleagues who work in those terminals into Terminal 5, and Terminal 2. Terminal 2 and 5 are newer terminals, rely on technology far more than our older terminals three and four. We had a large number of colleagues transferring between terminals that could not work the technology in other, although the business was the same, the job was the same, the skill set simply wasn't there.

We have had to respond rapidly with a digital upskilling programme. Equally accessibility, people working from home, our colleagues have been used to more traditional class-based learning. We are now shifting to more self-service, self-motivation to learn, and not everyone wants to learn, which is a challenge. It's how do we encourage it, how do we use the formal reporting metrics, alongside measures, alongside some of those more formal ones that I've spoken about this morning.

If I could summarise, is if we are to create a more inclusive society, a workplace where we can upskill, we've got to start young, we've got to help remove the barriers that some of the local community are experiencing. We have to create the right environment with the right tools, and we've got to shout about it. If we're not shouting about it, through whether it be formal or informal reporting, we are just not going to move the dial on this agenda, and that partnership is so key to driving this forward. Look forward to the Q&A and I’m incredibly passionate about this subject. I could keep going, I could fill the two hours on this but let me stop there and I'll hand back over to you, Fiona, thank you.

Fiona:

Jess, thank you very much for that, really insightful. I would like to thank all the guest speakers for giving us the time and giving us a little bit of an insight into what is going on in your organisations. Hopefully they will come out in the Q&A, but I do think there's a lot for us all to share and learn.

One of the things that comes out for me quite strongly, both from hearing what you've all said today, but also some of the things that we've talked to other stakeholders about is, this is not one part of society’s challenge or problem. And all of you have talked about the need for us to work together, to collaborate, to find ways of joining the dots effectively so that we can actually tackle this across society, but also as I said at the beginning, it has some really clear impacts. I really liked the articulation of focusing on value, impact and purpose, which I think all three of you have touched on, and creating that really strong cultural baseline that can really help you then tie to your purpose and give you a real clear path. Thank you all for that.

We are shortly about to sort of go into the panel, but just before we do, a couple of online poll questions for you.

First one: “How would you describe your organisation's efforts to communicate its upskilling activities and plan?” And the second is: “Whether you think actually upskilling should be mandatory or voluntary?” On the first one, interesting to see how far down this path some of you are. It’s interesting, seems to be there is ‘some degree’, actually there is a mix of ‘it’s part of something’ and some specific formal communication. This is an interesting area where it's still very early days in the reporting context. This picture doesn't really surprise me. Interesting actually there's still quite a few responses also that talk about informal. We mentioned earlier, the use of the video and other channels where that informal piece can really get the message across also. It would be interesting to see, maybe, when we meet again in a year's time how that has changed, and we can see, if we really help move the debate here.

Maybe we can move to the next question: “Do you think it should be optional or mandatory in terms of formal or otherwise, formal upskilling reporting?”

It's always interesting when you do these polls, you don't want to call it too soon because the numbers do change. I could bet on the wrong horse if I am not careful. Interesting, majority feel it probably should be something in between. I have a lot of, the other one is catching up now see, but you don’t want to come in too early. But actually, I have a lot of sympathy for that because while mandatory reporting can really help, of course, raise the standardisation of reporting and also the frequency of it, there is something about allowing organisations to tailor and shape how they tell their story. And sometimes mandatory reporting can actually send organisation's down a very narrow path, so it will be interesting to see. Thank you for that. It's still changing, still obviously most people feel something in between, and maybe incentivise would be the right way forward.

I am going to take us to the panel now and in addition to our three guest speakers, I would like to introduce Juliet Stuttard, who is the director at PwC. Juliet, do you want to just introduce yourself to everybody?

Juliet Stuttard:

Yeah that's fine, thank you. So, as Fiona said, I am a director in Fiona’s team and I really helping organisations on their journey to upskill, mainly in the Public Sector, mainly in Defence and Home Affairs. But really help clients on the journey from defining what their organisation looks like now, what it is going to look like in the future, and helping them on the upskilling journey and making some really tough calls on whether they upskill refresh or reconfigure their organisation. And it's usually all three of those all at once, but this is never normally just about upskilling, sometimes it's a combination of having to do things really rapidly, so it's balancing the long-term agenda with the short-term cost needs. That's always a challenge that many organisations are finding challenges in funding upskilling when they've got to reduce costs, so that's my reflection on the whole upskilling journey.

Fiona:

Thank you, Juliet. Now we do have some questions, that people have sent in prior to the event so we're going to pick them up. If you do have any other questions, you want to feed in, do put them in the chat, and we will do our best to pick those up and pose them to the panel. Just before we sort of get into the questions, I am interested in our panellists’ reaction to the last two poll questions actually so in terms of the picture of where organisations are in their skilling journey. Are you surprised that more organisations aren’t further down the line or does that look like a what you expected to see? Simon, maybe, I could just come to you first on that, any surprises there for you?

Simon:

In terms of the reporting, I am not surprised. I think policies and things, I’ve seen some organisations can be a real blocker in this. So, I still see quite a lot of policies that set ‘golden handcuffs’ on learning and things like that and I find those really damaging, because actually they massively impact the entry points of your organisation higher than they do the people at the top, relative to the salaries they are earning. Why would you accept doing great piece of learnings to help your career if actually it means that is going to prevent you from moving on in your career, but that culture of locking people in needs a change quite radically. So, I think if anyone is really in those kinds of things, they might not want to talk about reporting and things like that they might have to declare their hand about actually why it's not working for them and they're just not in that space, so they're ready to tackle some of that cultural bit that I was talking about earlier, to get that right to make it more easier. We for quite a while now, just completely cancelled the ‘Golden handcuff’ concept for most learning. I say most learning because if someone comes to us and says I want to do a £5,000 Masters or whatever, we might have a conversation. But to be honest for the basics learning and things that people need to do, don't put blocks like that in front of it and then talk about the benefits of doing it. Because, all of the organisations I have spoken to that have taken that approach the news is good, and actually so we should share it with each other, talk about it more, and then hopefully everyone else gets in the same place. I can see why it's incentivised and not mandatory. People are still a long way away from getting into a place where they are comfortable sharing what they're doing.

Fiona:

Thank you. Julia I was just interested in your perspective. You work with a number of organisations, both in the skills but also in the reporting side. Does this tie-up with what you’re hearing more broadly?

Juliet Stuttard:

Yeah, I think so, it's that point about what do you to report on? So, do you report on the gap? Do you report on the opportunity to learn, because that's really important? Providing opportunities for everybody to have that experience, to Simon's point, everyone has the opportunity to learn whatever stage of career, whatever age they are in the organisation, whatever specialist in they are. This thing about what you report on, that's going to crystallise. If we set that bar too early, we are going to fail and trip ourselves up, but I agree Jess with your point what gets noted gets, gets done. There has got to be some crystallisation soon on what we report on, is what, that's the biggest question here.

Fiona:

Okay, thank you. To turn a little bit to the questions of skills themselves and I think you've all talked about the combination of digital and technology skills, but also the softer skills, and I think we’ve had one question in and then we had a couple in before the panel. I am interested in your take on what ratio or split, how you want to articulate the balance between soft skills and digital or technical skills in your learning and skilling programmes at both NCS and Heathrow. Maybe Jess, could I come to you first on that please?

Jessica:

Yes, thanks. And it's an interesting question because it will, as always, it will depend a lot on your industry, your organisation. But the one thing that is really important that organisations can't ignore, is a lot of learners are already digital learners, and they do a lot of that independent of their employer. Especially when we are looking at reporting, there is a huge amount of digital upskilling going on outside of the workplace. Actually, I think Harvard Business Review did a really good piece of work on that but showed exactly where people are sourcing their learning content. So, sometimes we shouldn't agonise too much on how much it should be digital or not, because so much of that is starting to happen. The challenge is making sure that it remains inclusive, so not everyone wants to learn, some people will learn by themselves, some people are quite comfortable they are curious, and they are self-learners.

But then how do you create an environment where all are encouraged to continue to learn whether that be soft skills, whether that be digital skills. Then it's looking at what your value proposition is. So, we are a people business, we know we need people at the very centre of what we do, so we need technology and digital capability to complement our soft skills. Because at the front, it needs to be empathy, it needs to be listening, it needs to be caring, and it needs to be good decision making. So, I think that blend would have to come from within your organisation as well.

Fiona:

Thank you, Jess. Naim any additional reflections on that or different perspectives?

Naim:

Definitely what she said, because that was a great response, Jess, but I suppose at the heart of what we do to be really clear. We try not to focus on ‘hard skills,’ where we deliberately try to step back at a deeper level in that, which I personally am not a great fan of the soft/hard distinction, but let's go with it because it is one people understand. So, we focus on the soft, but digital tools and ways of delivering those interventions, those journeys are obviously critical. I am actually going to step away from NCS and give you a really interesting example. I am Governor of a primary school, and the staff team that I recently reached out, and said look, we are trying to use Google, we are moving to Google, and we are really struggling with it. I used to turn around to Simon's team and got a couple of his team in and we’ve just been doing this training needs analysis with those teachers. And it's really interesting, because basically without giving my age away, that the teachers who are sort of my age or below are more or less working it out themselves. They can find the YouTube videos, they will self-teach, because they have actually been made to feel they've grown up in a way that allows them to feel confident and comfortable.

And my kids, who are obviously a generation behind, who as I said are three and five, are just not even going to have that conversation about how do you find the comment function on a Google Doc. Whereas obviously, the teachers who have been in that setting for a bit longer, who are great teachers who deliver incredible impact, feel completely blindsided by something which most people at 20 or 30 or younger would just don't even have to compute and think about with any effort. So, I suppose for me the digital skills bit is about, exactly to Jess’s point, making sure people have the confidence to feel that they can be included and it's accessible. But it's an enabler to then all the other skills that transcend a particular moment and a particular functional skill. And I suppose linked to that, we all collectively need to get our heads around this beyond insight, making digital accessible in our own workplaces, how do we make it accessible at a social level and there's some great initiatives going on around that, but we need to speed those up, because in the last year, my gosh, haven't we seen how radical that deepens inequality and social divides.

Fiona:

Thank you. I guess just a follow up on that, some of these skills particularly what we traditionally call some of the softer skills, have traditionally been learned by being near someone watching someone work, having face-to-face coaching, and clearly I can't avoid talking about the impact of remote working given we are all remotely talking today. How do you think different learning pathways and learning modes can encompass this new way of working, where what's going to be the effective way of trying to share and help people learn some of these skills that traditionally haven't been done in this way? And Naim, can I ask you, if you've got any immediate thoughts on that.

Naim:

I have to think about, how to respond to that.

Fiona:

Tough question, I appreciate that. We are finding a lot in even some of the qualities around leadership skills being really important, maybe more important than they were a year ago actually. So, leading remote team, being an empathetic leader, it's hard to visualize how we would really instil those?

Naim:

So, I think obviously, in the environment and the context in which we are doing, which is slightly different to an organisational context, but we make time for reflection, it's a really critical activity that links into your question Fiona. So, we make time for reflection and we provide tools that help people to articulate what they are reflecting on about something they've done and what they're going to do. And I suppose one of the things that in my own business practice in how I try to coach and mentor people who have worked with me in various environments. And actually comes right back to the military, where you come in off a patrol and you sit down and you break down the patrol report and you work out how to write that up collectively so that the next time you or someone else is going on patrol the area you know what's coming. It's that discipline of going, right, here our framework skills that we value that we're going to constantly look and learn about and develop ourselves against. How do we value and create time and space in our practice with the right tools and resources to support that, to articulate our development against those things? And for me, that's why we love something like the Skills Builder framework, is precisely as Jess said, in her case study. It gives you simple definitions, it gives you a sense of mastery journeys, and those sorts of tools can be adopted in business practice. Managers and leaders should see it as front and centre, not only to demonstrate that practice themselves, but encourage and create the time and space in the workday for people to be able to do that as part of how they develop and grow as employees.

Fiona:

Thank you, thank you Naim. Juliet, just interested in whether you're sort of seeing any particular approaches to this from other organisations that you deal with?

Juliet:

So, I think it's actually creating opportunity. Actually, it has given more junior employees an opportunity to go along to meetings, environments, whatever setting is, whether that's an office context or whether it's a client context, opportunity to actually take part, be here, learn what's happening in the room. Because, sometimes as leaders we make that exclusive, not for any reason that we think the other person might not want to have that personal long learning. So, I actually think that people in all settings, both public and private are really capitalising on that, and saying, ‘okay, we're having to deliver our service in a really different way, okay let's learn together.’

So, actually many organisations are taking the opportunity to gather people around them they wouldn’t do normally, into a setting. As Naim said, really help them learn and pick that apart afterwards, that's the key thing, that opportunity to pick it apart afterwards and help people learn from that, but we haven't had. The people are turning into a positive in the moment situations rather than on the side, as a separate thing that you do. That's the mindset is how do we use this to our advantage.

Fiona:

Thank you. Moving on, still on the question around thinking about how you develop the skills themselves. We've had a question come in, I think Jess you mentioned that the concept of enabling a culture, where colleagues can move across multiple disciplines. So, what advice would the panel have on achieving this, where institutions tend to have the opposite, and employees or colleagues are mostly confined to one trap, that’s been the main traditional model. So, any insights you can provide? And Jess, given that you were mentioned in the question, I’m going to come to you first.

Jessica:

Of course yeah, and I don't think it can be binary either. There are definitely some professions that will stay single track without a doubt, but more broadly in terms of how do you make it work, I think it's got to be visible for colleagues. We've recently introduced a new job architecture framework, and we've made that visible to our colleagues to show that there are various career ladders, so how you can take a discipline and move from one to the other. An example we often give is, you can be a finance analyst to move into reward analysts to move to a reward manager, and to swap from your finance discipline to your people discipline.

So, there is something about visibility, and we've spoken about it through numerous threads, is simplicity of language and accessibility. So, we've got to start removing a lot of the jargon so that colleagues can see very visibly, how you can move from one to the other. And I think it is having laser like focus on what are the essential skills, what are the things that are most transferable. We've spoken about that in the Skills Builder, but things that we are seeing coming through that are becoming critical to that agility to moving is resilience, and the agility to change. Those are the two that we are seeing are rarely helping colleagues to move successfully.

If I just step back a little bit into the last question as well, that is definitely a watch out for some of the remote world of working. Yes, we are accelerating, yes there are huge positives that are coming with that, but that digital leadership and that awareness that response to agility is critical. To lead remote teams, comes with a much higher level of empathy needed so to have a challenging conversation when mental wellbeing is so severely impacted at the moment, as a result of lockdown and not being in human contact, that takes a different kind of leadership. But that boils down to those skills of resilience, agility to change, are some of those essential skills, those are transferable within any area.

The other thing is probably to formalise everything within your process. So, our talent mobilisation rarely focuses on moving colleagues from different parts of the business. We want everyone to have front and centre airport on the ground experience, before you can move into more senior roles within the corporate side. So, I think you need to establish quite a formalised framework for it to be successful as well.

Fiona:

Thank you, and my take on this, also hearing what you've all said is, is this a movement. We’ve had a couple of questions about whether this is more about horizontal moves between disciplines as opposed to progression. And I guess this is really about agility, isn't it, and it is about opportunity, and it's not so much about up/down or side to side, one over the other? Is that a fair reflection Simon, what's your take on that?

Simon:

I think so, it’s definitely a bit of both, that side of things people testing themselves in environments, doing roles that they have not done before and things like that. But for me, the real crucial element with this is actually, are we teaching our leadership, our managers the skills so they are able to have the right kinds of conversations with people? Do they know how to navigate that conversation that says, ‘the organisation is moving like this, have you thought about opportunities for how you might make yourself have a greater impact in the organisation as we shift our focus and our vision or way of working, that we’ve now got.’

Classic example from NCS is, we had a receptionist in London, guess what, we didn't need for a good part of 2020 as a receptionist in London. That person is now on track to become an apprentice data and analytics person, which is fabulous, to get them to that point where they are now being nurtured by that team, and coming on leaps and bounds. But it's a lot of credit on a couple of the managers involved in that chain, to be able to have really good conversations to be able to navigate that situation, that person is completely fired up now. It's a lot of that, we've had to focus on this a lot at NCS, our average age is in mid to late 30s in our organisation, so making sure that managers are mature enough to have high quality conversations with their staff to navigate the needs of the organisation, and also have great upskilling conversations with people is crucial.

Fiona:

Thank you. In doing this, I am interested in what you've either experienced or see as potential barriers or difficulties that organisations who are on the call might face as they go down this road. Juliet, can I start with you in terms of the market insight you have and where you're seeing companies face hurdles?

Juliet:

It's going back to this. I'll call them meta skills, the soft skills versus the technical skills. You have real strong disciplines that you have to have qualification in, much like, PwC have Tax, where we’ve got some really strong supervisor responsibilities in some of the social care environments, for example, that you can't just rely on that soft skills will cure everything. So, you've got to have a combination of the career corridors that take you and give you many doors, but you still have a strong sense of specialism because you can't remove that. And making sure that you remain your technical specialism, that you have to have for any reason you need them, but also, you've learned on top agility. I like the expression, rather than career ladders, you have career corridors, and rather than career ladders you have a climbing wall. You have signposts, how you move up across its challenging to hang on, but actually you are providing opportunities that still take you through your specialism and that help you navigate. One of the barriers, is making sure that you retain your technical specialism, but you still provide that breadth and that's a real challenge for all types of organisation, not a barrier, but a challenge.

Fiona:

Thank you. Jess, I'm interested in the sort of barriers that you faced at Heathrow and maybe some of the key learnings that came out of that.

Jessica:

So, I would probably say one of our biggest barriers was understanding at leadership level, so rarely helping to understand the value that this can bring, because let's face it, upskilling takes time, it takes effort, it takes investments. We're all very busy people and we're all trying to get our job done, so that was probably one of the biggest barriers. So actually, what we did to overcome some of that is, we built it into incentivisation so within our performance framework, so within our framework we have a balanced scorecard. One of those quadrants is dedicated to personal development and a second is to giving something back. So, that was definitely a learning. So, I think some of the other barriers is rarely helping to understand that investing in upskilling is a huge return for the business - engaged colleagues are more connected to your vision, are more likely to deliver and that ultimately will hit your bottom line. So it's really getting an understanding that, and I'll use words I’ve used, these are not my words and that words, I'd like to use is people look at upskilling, training, learning it is a bit fluffy, people would rather go get their formal qualifications and spend an absolute fortune. So being really able to demonstrate what an engaged colleague can bring to an organisation and what that upskilling journey can do for them.

Fiona:

Thank you. So, I'm going to just ask two final questions before we wrap up. The first is, this is a workshop about reporting, so I would be remiss if I didn't ask the question about reporting.

Naim, I'm interested in your perspective of, we've talked a little bit and heard a little bit about why everybody thinks reporting is important? What do you think, good reporting could look like? What are the things that you think organisations should really be transparent about celebrating sharing?

Naim:

Well, I think it needs to speak to the right audience or audiences to start with. So, I think you pointed it to after commenting on our video Fiona, yeah. That video was not a piece of reporting on upskilling, but if what you're trying to do is attract a certain demographic, a certain type of people, how do you land messaging with them in the right way and I think that's a classic, sort of basic 101 of comms, right? So I suppose, look at it from a comms perspective, rather than from an overly technical perspective and I say that from the perspective of being accountable for research and evaluation in an arm's length public body, where we have spent the last 10 years being evidenced and talking about the evidence of our impact and our value in very technical terms, and it's incredibly robustly measured what we've done over the last 10 years and it stands up to all sorts of you know Government, Treasury, Greenbook Standards and that sort of thing. And yet, it sort of doesn't cut through into the conscious whether that's for young people or for teachers or young people’s parents, or even for politicians because it is just quite hard to penetrate and understand and sort of navigate the sort of the magic of those sorts of calculations.

So, I think about it in a really simple way, and think about how you're going to land it with your audiences would probably be my main thought and I liked the way Jess was talking about it. When you talk about on that personal balance scorecard of a quadrant and let's have a quadrant where there's a few simple goals that I'm going to measure for each person a team. How does my team's balanced scorecard reflect that? How does my organisation's balanced scorecard reflect that? So when we are going to talk to our Board part of that quadrant, one of those quadrants will be actually, this is how much time we gave people to go and do community activity and responsible activism or this is how much time we gave people to go and do learning and develop of their own, or that we funded or whatever it might be, that's right for your organisation. I think keeping it simple, keeping it understandable.

Fiona:

That’s great, thank you. Actually, I did say I do have one more question that I had that I do want to ask, but someone's posed one that I think is really good. So, I'm going to just put this one in, which is, and Simon, I might pass this on to you please. What would you recommend to encourage volunteers to engage the digital upskilling program when many are experiencing screen fatigue, which I can relate to?

Simon:

Yeah screen fatigue, there is some really good stuff out there about healthy interaction and how you break it up so that you're not constantly on it, because we all know, if we have a day where you've got six or seven hours of constant screen time, you are wiped out for that day.

So, there’s lots out there already talking about appropriate breaks, to make sure you get out and about. It's doing that, and also partitioning your day, it’s planning isn't it? It's about partitioning your day in a way where, like for instance, I know I am pretty much a morning person are quite unique in my family like that actually, which is quite good. It means I can get my own time sometimes, but it's about what is your biorhythm, what is the way that you work best, because actually, it's great, so I'm going to do my self-learning, between 6:00 and 7:30 this evening, well I am afraid you've just done a seven hour day, a lot of it through the screen, the chance of you retaining anything in that 6:00 to 7:30 space is going to be next to nil.

So, it's being honest about when you are best able to absorb information to pick up new things, new skills, and then have the appropriate conversations in your organisation to make sure that then fits in with the outputs you need in your working life. It's getting the balance right between the two things. You still need to obviously do the things you need to do for your organisation, but be honest with yourself and make sure the people in your organisation are honest with themselves about when are they best suited to do that kind of learning activity, and then hopefully you can build up where it has more impact and longer lasting impact as well.

Fiona:

Great. Thank you, Simon.

I'm going to set you all a challenge so I can wrap up now. I do have one question I want to ask each of you, but I'd like you to answer it in a two/three-word answer as a suggestion. So, this is going to be the challenge. So, the question is: You represent a cross-sector group organisations, very different organisations. We've talked about this, it’s not just one person or one organisation’s problem. So, in your view as short as you can, how do you think businesses, Governments and other institutions should work together on this complex issue? What are some one or two things you need to focus on? Juliet, I'll start with you.

Juliet:

Fairness of opportunity. So, this is about giving everybody fair access to that opportunity wherever they are, whether their geography, what skills they are to give them to make no judgment to treat them as individuals and to give them opportunity. So, it’s fairness to access for all.

Fiona:

Thank you. You repeated some words there, so I'll let you off, but it was more than two or three. Jess, over to you.

Jessica:

I don't do two or three words very easily but let me try. I think it's got to be around accessibility and simplicity. And that tackles so many of the issues we've covered, whether that be confidence, scale, affordability. So, accessibility I think would probably be at the top for me.

Fiona:

Thank you. Naim?

Naim:

Priority, transparency, and networking. Prioritise this subject. Be absolutely transparent about it in whatever way works for you, it's not all one size fits all. Keep talking to people connecting with people and having conversations like this.

Fiona:

Thank you, and Simon?

Simon:

Yeah, mine goes back to what I was just saying – tailored, fair access. So be cognisant of every person is an individual, create fair access to the things that are available and make sure it's accessible to them.

Fiona:

Thank you all so much, for being so compliant, that was fantastic. I really appreciate it.

I want to just take a minute to wrap up. I want to thank everybody for joining us and participating today. Really fantastic to see so many of you join us for this first workshop on reporting New world. New skills and skilling.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to our panellists, and our external guest speakers, Jess, Naim, and Simon thank you so much for opening the window into your organisations and your efforts here, really great session.

Just a quick reminder, we are going to be launching a new award to celebrate brilliant reporting and upskilling, and we're going to share more details with everybody in the coming week. If the upskilling agenda is something you feel passionate about and want to learn and understand more about, we have convened a community of leaders across all sectors and businesses, some of whom are on the call today, and you can make a commitment to really champion this agenda, and you're all more than welcome to join and we’re going to provide the details in a follow-up note.

It's been really clear hearing for everyone today that there's a real demand for change, there’s a real demand to move this agenda forward, both from a societal, organisational, but also from an individual perspective. Our employees and people want to learn, want to be productive and want to develop. But I think the important point for me is, you know, how actually this is not just an individual issue, and it's not one organisation’s problem, it's connected to culture to purpose to values. And I think creating a very simple pathway gives us an opportunity to really get the message out there. And I think the importance of reporting is going to be so critical in the efforts to shape the debate, shape best practice that's what reporting also allows us to do, as well as share successes, and importantly share challenges so that we could all learn from those.

So, bang on 10:30, I'm going to say thank you very much and let you all go. Thanks again to our speakers, really appreciate it.

 

{{filterContent.facetedTitle}}

Contact us

Alan McGill

Alan McGill

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7711 915663

Julia Simmons

Julia Simmons

Marketing Executive, Client Relationship Programmes, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7702 698860

Samantha Kelley

Samantha Kelley

Marketing Manager, Client Relationship Programmes, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7595 849974

Follow us