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The importance of skills gap analysis - forecasting for future skills

Blog by Claire Tunley CEO, Financial Services Skills Commission

16 November 2022

Since establishing the Financial Services Skills Commission in 2020, our core focus has been on supporting our members to reskill and upskill employees, boost skills, retain talent, and remain competitive. One of the most important aspects of this is identifying what skills we need for the future, considering changing demographic trends, a shift in working patterns and ongoing digitisation across the sector.

Forecasting skills needs can be challenging, but it is essential to steer investment in training, development, and talent. We know that 6 in 10 firms who plan for future skills, have reduced their need to hire externally. Organisations cannot train their workforce or upskill and reskill employees if they do not understand what skills their business requires.

This is why the FSSC have developed the Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit  in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group to support our members improve their capacity and capability to identify future skills for the long term and to support  ongoing skills forecasting. Our data shows 20% of firms do not currently collect data on future skills and 76% do not hold data on the proficiency levels required for future skills. This restricts a firm’s ability to develop a strategy on upskilling and reskilling their workforce. Clearly, there is more to do.

The Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit has been built using best practice from our member firms, providing a common approach for organisations to adopt alongside their existing workforce planning guidelines. The Toolkit consists of three tailored workshops which can be delivered by in-house HR teams and provides detailed materials to enable firms to pinpoint areas where there are skills deficits so they can act accordingly. This allows firms to prioritise strategic skills planning, understand how individuals can be upskilled, as well as the time and cost demands that accompany this. A skills action plan is also included in the Toolkit content to capture data for forecasting and planning purposes.

The Toolkit will enable organisations to build and further develop skills forecasting capabilities. For firms who have not yet started skills forecasting, templates are readily available to kickstart your own skills analysis journey. It’s imperative that skills forecasting becomes a boardroom priority if our sector is to continue to attract and retain talent and remain competitive.

The Toolkit is available here and anyone who would like to find out more should contact info@financialservicesskills.org

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash