Recovery and renewal: Reflections from the Employment & Skills Convention’

by Richard Alberg, CEO of Aptem


13 07 2021


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It was a pleasure to be a part of this year’s Employment and Skills Convention and hear first-hand from employers, providers and young people about the impact the last 18 months have had on the employability and skills sector.

In particular, it was great to listen and learn about the ways people have started to overcome some of the critical barriers we face in today’s evolving employability landscape.

Upon reflection of the event and as an employer, the importance of injecting the right and required skills into the workplace remains the same, but with the heightened focus on linking jobseekers to the right provisions at the right time. This will be the continued challenge in the near future.

Furthermore, I believe some of the required support for the unemployment sector should include:

  • Bridging gaps between training schemes to build steady careers.
  • Training opportunities and the skills that the furlough population will require as they pour back into the job market in September.
  • Investment in technology to support more skills training, and to acknowledge the evolution of blended learning that has been accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

To further support jobseekers it is imperative that we remain focused on introducing young people and those from minority groups back into employment. The inequality gap, especially in employability, has widened considerably during this period.

In addition, as we move towards the recovery stage of the pandemic and employers start to plan for the future, there are clear skills gaps as businesses continue to digitally transform. There lies an opportunity to upskill existing employees through apprenticeships, reskill those who are unemployed to fill these skills gaps, and use technology to connect employers to the digital talent that already exists.

To learn more about the debate we have just realised our latest podcast as part of our employability series.  Elizabeth Taylor, Chief Executive at ERSA talks to us about the support jobseekers have received throughout the Covid  period and the  ongoing support needed in the employability sector to adapt to the challenges we will face as we try to build back  better.

Listen to the podcast now.

Richard Alberg is Founder and CEO of Aptem, sponsors of our Employment & Skills Convention 2021.