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COMMENT


Shaping the Future: A regional project with worldwide potential


Judy Craske, project director at Shaping the Future, describes an innovative £4m talent management programme that could transform social and economic development in North West Wales.


W


ith the UK economy in a double-dip recession and news headlines full of the


struggles of the unemployed, it is becoming more and more difficult for individuals at any stage of their career to find jobs. A combination of factors including rising inflation, ongoing economic uncertainty and continued levels of high unemployment means there is a real risk of a talent drain as graduates and skilled workers alike look to either relocate to a different region in the UK or migrate internationally to find work, causing a talent drain from the UK.


There is a strong case for introducing a new paradigm for talent management to prevent such a talent drain. One such example is a Macro Talent Management (MTM) programme which brings together stakeholders from the public and private sectors sharing intelligence and creating an early warning system relating to skills shortages and dynamic market insights, which are shared with stakeholders via regionalised working groups.


While this MTM style programme may sound attractive as an abstract concept, it also holds up in practice. Regions of the UK, such as the Thames Gateway, Silicon Fen and Silicon Glen


have used such a process to draw businesses in to an area already rich in a desired skill set.


Silicon Glen, the name given to the Central Belt in Scotland, used to be home to the traditional heavy industries. As these industries declined throughout the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of skilled workers lost their jobs, around the time the electronics and IT sector started to take off. The Scottish Development Agency was set up in 1975 to stimulate economic growth by developing the business environment and offering inward investment incentives within the electronic and IT sector. During its heyday, Silicon Glen produced around 30% of Europe’s PCs and still produces software development, electronics design and innovation today, thanks to its highly skilled workforce.


Enterprise Zones Wales


Welsh Enterprise Zones are designated areas where specific incentives are being offered to attract new businesses and industry to that prime location. The aim of these zones is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Welsh economy and demonstrate the Welsh Government’s continued commitment to


creating jobs and sustainable growth. Each zone focuses on a key target sector. Sectors are a crucial part of ‘Economic Renewal’, the new direction that sets the role devolved government can play in providing the best conditions and framework to enable companies to grow and flourish.


The Welsh Government has introduced a policy which aims to establish three enterprise zones close to the skilled workforce in North Wales. For example, Anglesey and Gwynedd are being heralded as energy enterprise zones as a number of sites around Anglesey are being considered in the energy and environment sector and the Trawsfynydd site at Gwynedd is to focus on the energy, environment and ICT sectors. A third area, in Deeside, is being established as an advanced manufacturing enterprise zone and includes the Airbus wing- making facility at Broughton.


Shaping the Future


In North West Wales a new project has been launched which can serve as an exemplar of the MTM-style programme.


16 | public sector executive Jul/Aug 12


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