October 9, 2015 in Events (live blogging), Developing Future Cumbria

#FutureCumbria – Building Cumbria’s People Capability: Insights of lessons learned from Scotland

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Dr. John McGurk – Head of Scotland, CIPD


John opened by talking about what a great initiate the Developing Future Cumbria conference is, and how he is delighted to see the HR community having these discussions and to see see CIPD putting its values (PACE: Purposeful, Agile, Collaborative, Expert) into action.


CIPD Scotland purpose:

  • Create a more purposeful, energised and co-ordinated branch network.
  • Collaborating and connecting to key customer groups and being more agile for members and the market.
  • Putting our brand expertise and voice at the centre of Scotland’s workplace and business conversation.


Caledonia and Cumbria have some of the same challenges and some of the same regional/national context as well as having some commonality in terms of the main employment sectors.


Cumbria, like Scotland, needs an integrated skills and employment agenda:

  • Young people: A lot of problems in later life have their roots in our early years. There is a massive ROI from investment in early years education (see the work of James Heckman). We need to do less ‘chalk and talk’ in schools and apply more effective L&D approaches.
  • Future Skills: We need to be training people for the skills that we need in the future, and we aren’t doing that at the moment.
  • What we do in the workplace: The HR profession needs to do more to engage people, and to help people to be resilient. We need to equip people with things in the locker that they can call on when things go wrong. If people are engaged and resilient, they will perform at work and that will drive real productivity.
  • Leadership and Vision: We need leadership and ambition from employers, and real collaboration from all the stakeholders involved.


To make the most of these opportunities, we need:

  • Dialogue (e.g. today’s conference),
  • Data (evidence)
  • Development (not just training, but real development of the workforce that comes from having long-term foresight about people development)


Where do we go from here? We need to prepare young people for work, build skills for the future, increase engagement and resilience, and develop leadership and vision.


(This was live-blogged during a session at the CIPD/CMI/CIM/CCN Developing Future Cumbria conference 2015 in Penrith – #FutureCumbria – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.)

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