Entrepreneurship: a hot topic in Himeji, Japan, Adelaide’s sister city

By | Entrepreneruship, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Planning Tools | No Comments

The Japanese ‘lifetime employment system’ and culture doesn’t take kindly to risk. This means there are some policies that don’t make the process of finding private capital simple. Most entrepreneurs don’t work for start-ups. Rather, they go into the government or large companies – the elite jobs. But things are changing.

“Companies now hire more temporary employees, and those people are more likely to start companies to gain a better sense of security than being a temporary employee,” said Robert Eberhart, an Assistant Professor of Management at Santa Clara University. Read More

Greater Western Sydney, Australia’s third largest economy, creating new jobs

By | Economic Development, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

Sydney districts have been powering one quarter of Australia’s economic growth, for the last financial year. All eyes are on Western Sydney – home to over 21% of Greater Sydney’s population and generating 18% of its jobs. It also powers 18% of Greater Sydney’s economic activity.

In the past 20 years, the number of jobs in Western Sydney has doubled. Today, the four main industry sectors include health and education (87%), knowledge-intensive jobs (71%), population-serving (61%), and industrial (175%). Finance and insurance are also hot jobs in the district. The dominance of health and education match the areas’ accessibility to health and education institutions.

Moving forward, it’s anticipated that the new Parramatta Square development will push job growth in public administration. Because the share of industrial roles in the west is higher than Greater Sydney, there’s an opportunity to look at ways to leverage the district’s ‘economic assets and investment opportunities’ to continue the momentum of the knowledge-intensive economy. Read More

August BluePrint – Innovative Experiences & UNESCO

By | Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Planning Tools | No Comments

Hi there

Over the past month, Sunraysia, Kangaroo Island (KI), Melbourne and home town Adelaide with visits from our Indonesian colleagues and friends, have all been innovation hot spots.  Activities included the Community Colleges Australia Conference meeting Hon Karen Andrews MP Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Sunraysia Agriculture and Horticulture Future Workforce conversations, KI’s future workforce plan, Australia-Indonesia Networking event, and the launch of the 2017 Real Day Out for the Australian Science and Maths School.

There is a building appetite for innovative experiences, providing exposure and capability development for here and now jobs, as well as future jobs, including entrepreneurial opportunities.  Speaking of which, I’ve been invited to UNESCO-UNEVOC in Bonn, Germany next month to run a workshop for the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) Leadership Programme 2017 on Entrepreneurship, which is an absolute honour. Read More

The future of freight, transport & logistics: technologies, trends & jobs

By | Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Planning Tools | No Comments

Advancements in technology are re-shaping the transport and logistics industry. With the emergence of e-commerce, automation and new applications, there’s even greater importance on the supply chain.

The way freight and goods are picked, packed, tracked and shipped has changed, using digital technology – but how is this affecting the workforce? Read More

Adelaide’s island sister, Christchurch, New Zealand, rebuilding its economy… from the ground up

By | Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Projects | No Comments

Adelaide is connected to amazing cities, from Austin (USA) to Himeji (Japan).  Closer to home, there’s Christchurch in our neighbour island, New Zealand.

Christchurch is a city, not without its challenges.  The 2011 earthquake changed the entire landscape of the city.  But it’s being rebuilt with greater resilience, along with a new way of working revolutionising the city.Cathedral,_Christchurch,_New_Zealand

Universities are providing flexible, learning environments focused around collaborative spaces and developing innovation across problem solving so students can choose when, where and how they study. Read More

Workforce BluePrint – Expressions of Interest

By | Workforce Architects, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

Hi there

Inspiring conversations (video from Adelaide Hills) locally and globally, learning about the work that you are doing whether it is at a conference, event, meeting or online, and the purpose of this email is to extend an Expression of Interest (EoI) to you.

STEM in Education

This EoI is three-fold with a local and global context.
Do you have experiences that could link with the 21st Century Capabilities Framework, for example, new discovery technologies like Virtual Reality, wellbeing, entrepreneurship and STEM in education?

And/or you might have workforce solutions that could be products, programs, tools, resources and services? Read More

Develop a Workforce Plan in 5 Easy Steps

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Workforce Planning is the process of taking stock of the current workforce, forecasting future workforce requirements and identifying gaps or issues.  Workforce Development relates to strategies and activities that bridge those gaps.

A workforce plan captures the current workforce profile, training and development programs, forecasts the future workforce profile, compares the current and future picture and identifies priority gaps to be bridged with workforce development strategies.  So, how do you maximise your workforce productivity and develop a workforce plan?

Workforce BluePrint uses a proven innovative workforce planning and development methodology that is clear, simple and systematised which can be applied at an enterprise, industry, region and/or country level.  This systems approach, developed after many projects in Australia and overseas, aiming to better match workforce demand, supply and training provider provision is called TAKE ACTION.

The following table outlines the parts in the system that are worked through in a logical order and the high level actions that occurs at each step.

System Actions
The full picture


Begin with the problem – why do you need a workforce plan?

Collect all existing evidence, information, reports and research

Understand current context, processes, scope, systems and timeframes as well as impacts on the workforce– global, national, industry based and regional including economic development priorities at national and divisional levels.

At this time (current workforce) Analysis of current workforce profile – critical job roles and capabilities

Identify current workforce issues and gaps

Know what you want (future workforce) Flip the problem into a preferred future workforce scenario using this 8 step approach with stakeholders:

1.     The scenario question – Part of this stage involves picking a year from which the scenarios will look back. How long a time frame do we care about?

2.     The proximate environment – depict the environment in which the decision will be made i.e. how far into the future is the scenario?

3.     Driving forces – consider the economy, industry sectors, labour market and regional needs

4.     Judging importance and uncertainty – For each driving force, we ask three questions: Is it predetermined (unchanging)? How uncertain are we about our ability to predict its importance into the future? Is this particular driving force among the most important drivers of the future — will it make a difference that makes a difference?

5.     Composing the stories – A major rule: check continually to make sure that none of these stories are redundant with each other—that they truly represent different ways that the future might unfold.

6.     Sub-groups and Reality Checks – They always ask: Is the internal plot logical? Can we really get from point A in the plot to point B, C, D, or E? What plausible chain of events, actions, and counter reactions could lead to this future? What kind of economy is consistent with this scenario? What political reactions would have to take place to make it plausible?

7.     Implications – what are they for each scenario and on different stakeholders?

8.     Strategic Visions and Oracles – We have set the scenarios up as competing oracles. It is important to know which oracle is closest to the actual course of history as it actually unfolds.  Also ask: “What kind of world do I want to help create?”

Decide the preferred workforce scenario or vision for the workforce, critical job roles and capabilities.

Forecasting demand vs. supply for each critical job role may be appropriate.

Evaluate the gaps When comparing what we have at this time and knowing what we want into the future, identify all the gaps and issues including critical job roles and capabilities.
Address the gaps (workforce development strategies) Theme and/or cluster the gaps and issues, prioritise and/or risk rate them, summarise key findings

Populate the Workforce Action Plan with workforce development strategies covering analysis and planning of skill demand (with critical job roles and capabilities) to improve the match and implications for skills development funding with targeted investment

Co-design solutions (with stakeholders) To achieve results and using an action-plan model for implementation:

  • Demand-driven skill development plans prepared at an industry level using the TAKE ACTION system underpinned by a capability building approach with stakeholders, industry and partnerships
  • Inclusion Strategy particularly for women and people with disabilities
  • Identify requirements for providers and system change with demand-driven priorities
Timelines and targets Agree timelines for the implementation of Workforce Action Plan
Inspire (for implementation) With the implementation of the Workforce Action Plan, co-design of the solutions with industry, employers, employees, training providers, government, and the Ministry.
Ongoing review Progress on implementation and the achievement of outcomes and outputs for the Workforce Action Plan will require ongoing review with a governance structure involving stakeholders.  This includes monitoring of any scenarios that may not be preferred with any early warning signs and managing accountabilities.
Next workforce (next plan) An iterative, dynamic approach will enable participants to move beyond the gap of the current and future workforce, to the next workforce say 5, 10 or 15 years out.  This could provide an opportunity to develop 21st Century capabilities understanding where career and job opportunities will be across employment and entrepreneurship, the country/region and globally.

You and your team can work through the TAKE ACTION system, summarised by 5 steps and answer the following questions:

Step 1- Context and Environment

Why? Why do we need to undertake workforce planning? Why is it important? What are our goals for this Workforce Plan? What are the performance measures for our Workforce Plan?

Strategic Objectives What are our organisation’s strategic objectives (link workforce plan to strategic plan)? How does this affect our workforce? What will we focus on?

External Environment What is happening in the external environment (at an international, national, industry, regional or local level)? What policies and initiatives (national, state, local) are being implemented? What challenges are being faced? (for example skills/labour shortages, attraction and retention, funding)

Internal Environment What is happening in the internal environment? What is our business planning process? What are the links between business planning and workforce issues? What current initiatives, projects and services are being provided? What funding sources are accessed? What is the organisational structure? What is the organisation’s current capability and capacity to deliver your products and services?

Step 2 – Current Workforce Profile  What is your current workforce profile?  What are the current skills and competencies of your workforce? What are your strengths and development needs? What is the consultation with your current workforce telling you regarding workforce issues and what is working well or what could be improved? What are the current workforce priorities, based on your workforce profiling and analysis?

Step 3 – Future Workforce Profile  What future products and services will be provided by the organisation (link workforce plan to strategic plan)? What will the future environment require? What are the workforce implications and issues? What is the workforce supply and demand for priority job roles? What future skills and competencies are required? What is the consultation with your workforce telling you regarding future workforce issues? What are the future workforce priorities, based on your workforce profiling and analysis?

Step 4 – Gap Analysis and Closing Strategies  What are the key areas of need/action to move from where the organisation is now to where it wants to be especially priority job roles? NOW…Prioritise the ‘issues’ and develop an action plan with strategies to address gaps.

Step 5 – Conclusion, review, evaluation strategy and next steps  What are the key outcomes of your workforce action plan? How will you evaluate the strategies in your workforce plan? What are the next steps for implementation of your workforce action plan?

Workforce Development Strategies

Incorporate existing workforce development strategies into your plan and identify new strategies, for example #1 Priority = Retention and #2 Priority = Attraction and Recruitment.

The Elon Musk effect: putting South Australia on the map

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The world’s biggest lithium battery, three times more powerful than any other on Earth, will be built in South Australia. Earlier this month, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, announced news of the 100-megawatt battery which will store energy near Jamestown.

Elon Musk

Premier Jay Weatherill announced the South Australian government had accepted the “historic agreement” with Tesla and French renewables company Neoen. Read More

Improved development enables better design of the healthcare system for medicine, nursing & allied health

By | Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Projects | No Comments

According to the Future Healthcare Journal, medical education doesn’t prepare young doctors for the rapidly changing medical landscape.

The current response to change is a ‘reactive and resource-intensive effort’, rather than interprofessional clinical and non-clinical training.  There’s an opportunity to incorporate a philosophy and style that accommodate innovation, communication, and change – with one single educational body bridging undergraduate and postgraduate instruction.Aged care

Postgraduate medical training needs to be a flexible, responsive training curriculum for the workforce.  Education needs to teach students how to adapt and encourage innovation. Read More

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