The Next Normal: Futureproofing the Workforce
key update from John Bridge OBE DL

The Chambers of Commerce and Barclays LifeSkills have today released a new report entitled ‘The Next Normal: Futureproofing the Workforce for a Post-Pandemic World’.

The report seeks to tackle questions around the workforce challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic, and how companies can support their staff in the future. It also highlights the need for employers to be ready to adapt their training priorities in order to help the next generation of school-leavers enter the workforce in a markedly changed, and still changing, workplace.

The findings were discussed during a series of online roundtables with members of the Chambers of Commerce Network from around the UK, and provided valuable insights into the workforce challenges faced by businesses on the ground during the pandemic.

During the roundtables, employers described the challenges of adapting to a fully online working environment, necessitated by the pandemic. They detailed how effective communication across new digital channels had become a key component in their workplace. Companies see it as a priority that young people gain these skills very early in their careers, while the existing workforce is rapidly up-skilled to adapt.

In terms of attracting new talent digitally, businesses found on-line recruitment processes had worked well and had given them access to a much larger pool of candidates. Employees saw greater appreciation from employers of their wide-ranging motivations, which was reflected in more flexible working arrangements.

From my perspective the report contains some really crucial insights into the way employers have managed their workforces throughout the unbelievably testing circumstances of the last year, and how they view the route forward post-pandemic.

It tells us that companies are now looking to the future of the workforce and are keen to grab hold of opportunities for greater productivity and improved wellbeing for their employees.

But firms will need more support to ensure their staff thrive. The capability to adapt to shifting training priorities and new ways of working across the board will be a key strength for any organisation.

As firms look to recover from the effects of the pandemic it is also essential the next generation of employees coming into the workforce are equipped with the abilities that companies value most.

It’s vital for the recovery of the economy that everyone has access to the skills they need to thrive.

For your further information the full report can be accessed here.

Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices

Employers who hire a redundant apprentice could be eligible for the increased incentive payment of £3,000. They can apply for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. Find out more here  about incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice.

T Level Transition Programme

The Department for Education (DfE) is developing the T Level Transition Programme for students who are not ready to start a T Level but have the potential to progress onto one following a tailored preparation programme.
The programme will have the flexibility to prepare and support each student individually and enable them to progress on to a T Level. See details here.  

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH