Global Industries Need Global Skills Standards!

We are delighted to have another prolific locally  based contributor to this week Will Doherty shares his thoughts on the need to have standard skill sets which will enable companies to weather the storms of change inevitably being thrust upon us in these ever changing, challenging and exiting times we live in. We can look forward to more papers from Will in the coming weeks.

Background :

Political change in leadership, economic down turn, austerity measures imposed, cut backs implemented. The consequences of these actions are now starting to filter into the HR and L&D Global community. Reduced spending on classroom based training, budgets reviews, cut backs in resources, recruitment freeze, restructure, more with less, L&D “ Nice But Not Today!”.

Within the Global L&D Community now more than ever is the time for stronger leadership, improved team work and greater transparency. We need to show and justify why L&D or training exists and how it adds value to (a) governments, (b) global industries, (c) businesses and most importantly (d) individuals. The aim of this paper is to promote one theme – Global Industry Sector Standards. Three key actions will provide a vision, a strategy and bedrock to take global training into 2020:

Global Business Today.

To survive the down turn and retain cash flow global business has to be more efficient and go further afield into new markets and new geographies, BRIC, Africa, MENA, ANZ etc. As new partnerships emerge we see more joint ventures, strategic agreements and a few acquisitions taking place. All of this is good practice and as a result savings can be realised, growth continues and jobs can be saved or created. In the workplace “we get paid for what we do, not what we know”, a qualification is nice but skills are the tools that add & create visible value to a business, a community and a country.

Q: What is the global standard of skills expected for the industry or sector? Q : What is global best practice ? (Who says!) Q : How does the skill standard in one country compare with another in the same industry ? Q : Are the performance standards up to date / still relevant to the job reality ? Q : Who can afford to keep their national standards up to date ?

Reality :

Not all governments can financially support their sector skills councils, not all sector skills councils are in close communication with the reality of their market, their industry and the needs of the employers and employees. The value add and “Raison d’etre” for several skills councils might be in question as seen by efficiency mergers and reduced funding. What we do know and what we can agree upon: There needs to be skill standards. Most important is that they are current and fit for purpose!

Global Standards :

Standards should define, clarify and communicate the performance level expected. The skills, knowledge and attitude required to do a job. Standards should relate with and be linked to occupations in key industries. Ideally we want standards that refer and relate to the reality of the job, used on the job and in the job. Critical is that they are understood by the job holder. Standards should define competence and be linked to accreditation. Standards that industry, governments, employers and employees know are realistic, relevant, pragmatic and of benefit. Our people, where ever they are, have one programme, one focus and a common and consistent approach how to do the job.

Recommentation :

National Skills Councils consider evolving & transforming to become more globally integrated. Together we create Global Industry Standards. Create a forum drawn from a global consortium and a network of industry leaders, academia, governments, employers, employees and customers. Globally, lets agree/define what a good job looks like ! Focus on the reality of the job not the theory. Next steps : Please contact Will, let’s form the team, together we can create the future !

Copyright Will Doherty MBA. MA HRM. Cert Ed. Grad CIPD. Dated 30.6.12

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