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The Skillful State Playbook: 7 steps to building a skills-based workforce

Matthijs Van Sterkenburg

Matthijs Van Sterkenburg

Microsoft, Applications & Infrastructure

Read Time, 2 min.

There is never a wrong time to upskill yourself and your organization. For leaders across Europe, there are free and accessible tool and resources available to help you develop an innovative workforce with the right skills needed for the future.

Meeting a universal – and growing – demand

Skillful, a non-profit initiative, helps to develop modern workforces by providing data, tools, and resources that enable companies to adopt skills-based hiring and training practices.

Working together with Microsoft, Skillful has outlined seven steps to developing a skills-based labour market. You can access them by downloading the full Playbook here.

What are the seven steps?

The seven steps are outlined in detail in the playbook. But at a glance:

Step 1: Align your partners

Get buy-in from all parties – whether that’s government, employers, educators or whoever. Assess any barriers to co-operation and identify those who can help achieve cohesion.

Step 2: Assess the market and identify jobs

Profile your workforce and identify growth industries. The better you understand the drivers of the economy you work in, the easier it is to identify the areas where the right skills are hard to find.

Step 3: Base recruitment on competencies

Learn how to identify competencies and deploy skills-based employment practices for all jobs in your ecosystem – especially those ‘hot jobs’ that appeal to job seekers who have the skills you need.

Step 4: Base teaching on competencies

Identifying competencies doesn’t just help employers discover the right talent, but also helps educators inform curricula that will equip people with the right skills to succeed.

Step 5: Help job seekers by helping career counsellors

Don’t forget to help the helpers. There are number of ways to support those in career guidance so that they, in turn, can support those looking to further their own careers. These include professional development programs and digital tools.

Step 6: Play to people’s strengths

Not everyone has a good understanding of their own skills and where, or how, they can be best applied. Learn how to help job seekers to discover their strengths, enhance their skills and find the right roles.

Step 7: Assess the policy levers

Governments often have the levers – such as tax incentives and financial aid – to support your skills development efforts. Find out what are they and how can you make the most of them. Also evaluate your own efforts to inform people about their career opportunities.

Now you can boost your career with free online courses and certifications.

Discover the Microsoft Level Up programme and start upping your cloud skills.

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