Responding to feedback from the profession, CILIP identified a cross-sector interest in identifying the future development needs of the workforce and how best to meet those needs. Working in partnership with City, University of London, CILIP designed and hosted a free employer engagement event, sponsored by Demco Interiors to address this theme on 2nd November 2016. Luke Stevens-Burt, Head of Member Services said “CILIP is well placed to bring together leaders from across the profession. This event gave sector leaders time and space to explore the professional issues and workforce developments they will all face in the near future. The opportunity to work together is important in securing a stronger workforce in the future.”
The event kicked off with a CILIP presentation summarising important workforce studies followed by a panel discussion with senior representatives from across the professional sectors.
The attendees fedback that they valued “talking to colleagues across sectors” and “hearing the different views and ideas from speakers”. The event continued with lively workshop activities identifying the vital skills employers need developed for the future workforce. It also reinforced the range of skills in the profession, demonstrating how demanding and varied information careers are. Some recurring themes were; data management and analytics, business skills, resilience, change management, communication, political skills, teaching and marketing.
Employers want well-rounded professionals, grounded in solid theory but with real life experience. Discussion centred on the scope of the academic role in providing this. It was suggested academic courses provide a solid foundation and are well placed to continue to deliver or develop content around data management, evidence based research, business skills, communication and legislation. There was strong recognition of the role of continuing professional development (CPD) in helping professionals to acquire the necessary skills and experience. Employers valued the role of CPD opportunities such as shadowing, mentoring and secondments to help individuals gain confidence, communication and networking skills as well as giving practical experience of project and budget management. The event demonstrated employers value the scope CILIP’s Professional Registration to deliver many of the attributes employers need. With its emphasis on CPD and reflection it is seen as a way to develop well-rounded, reflective practitioners and future leaders. There was support for building a vocational route, ideally using existing frameworks to give a blended learning approach, combining study and work place experience.
CILIP CEO Nick Poole commented “The event was a huge success. It brought together a diverse audience of leaders and managers from libraries and the wider knowledge and information management sector. It was a great opportunity to discuss the changing job market, the future demand for information skills and how we work with learning providers to attract, retain and develop talent in the sector. CILIP will use these outcomes to inform our current work on the Public Library Skills Strategy and our wider work on a UK-wide Information Skills Strategy.” The organisers are keen for the information sharing and dialogue started at the event to continue and plans are developing for a repeat health sector-specific event and a mapping document of current LIS course content.
Priority access to employer engagement events is just one of the benefits of CILIP’s Organisation Membership. For more information contact CILIP Development Officer (Employers) Jo Cornish firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7255 0549. For more information on Professional Registration contact email@example.com