Retrain Before Replacing

Digital services will change skill demand.

Alexander Mann Solutions are advising business leaders to invest in retraining existing workforces before they are forced to replace incumbent employees with those with specialist digital skills. The recommendation comes following the recent announcement that Lloyds Banking Group will cut 6,000 existing positions in the UK – while simultaneously creating 8,000 new roles – in an effort to strengthen its capability to offer customers new ‘leading-edge’ digital banking products and services.

It is understood that existing Lloyds employees whose jobs disappear will be offered the chance to apply for new roles, however the bank has admitted that some specialist roles will need to be sourced externally.

Commenting on the announcement Vanessa Byrnes, sector managing director, Retail Banking & insurance, Alexander Mann Solutions, notes;

“While we have long advised that continual professional development is crucial to ensure that teams remain engaged and productive, amid the digital revolution investing in upskilling has never been more vital.

“Recent research from PwC highlights how finding and hiring employees with the key skills they need to succeed in the digital world continues to keep business leaders awake at night, with 80 per cent of all CEOs admitting that it is a key challenge,” continues Byrnes. “In the retail banking sector, this issue is arguably even more pertinent, with the rise of mobile banking, video appointments and tech-enabled ‘micro-branches’ creating a climate where skills demand is shifting at a remarkable rate.

“In our experience, retraining and redeploying internal resources is one of the most efficient ways of bridging future skills gaps,” she adds. “When faced with the option to ‘buy, build or borrow’ expertise, growing your own talent comes with numerous benefits, not least the retention of culture and reduced recruitment costs.

“However, in order to know exactly what skills need to be developed to ensure an organisation is future fit, business leaders will need to map and analyse existing capabilities against projected demand.”

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