Developing your skills during the pandemic

By Charlotte Campion, Projects Officer, Social Impact and Innovation

Keeping your professional skills and knowledge up to date has always been an important means of performing at your peak as a People Professional. However, we know that individual learning and development has had to take a backseat for many during the COVID-19 Pandemic – the CIPD’s People Profession survey 2020 has shown that learning is no longer receiving immediate attention within businesses.

It’s important that learning and development isn’t forgotten. In fact, the credibility of the profession is based on the fundamental commitment to self-improvement - but this doesn’t always have to be via the routes you might think. We offer opportunities for People Professionals to stretch and develop their professional skills through volunteering roles, often providing life-changing support for those in need of the unique skill set the profession can offer – more crucial than ever in current times. Volunteering can also be hugely beneficial for wellbeing and motivation, which is welcome during the uncertainty we are living and working in.

Volunteering through one of the CIPD’s Social Impact programmes is a great way to develop and demonstrate the core knowledge and behaviours that you need to perform at your peak and progress in your career. Professional volunteering goes right to the heart of the three key principles human resources: work matters, people matter and professionalism matters. It’s also an opportunity to continue your own learning and development whilst supporting your local community and those most adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – something that the CIPD have heard our HR community asking for.

One of the opportunities on offer is on the Enterprise Advisor programme (run by the Careers and Enterprise Company), placing experienced professionals as volunteers in schools and colleges to develop an impactful careers programme for students. This is now the 5th year the CIPD has partnered with the Careers and Enterprise Company, to connect People Professionals with schools and colleges, and this year it’s more important than ever – a recent survey by The Prince’s Trust found that 44% of young people aged 16-25 have lower aspirations for the future as a result of the pandemic. Providing careers guidance in schools and colleges is essential to help young people regain confidence in their future.

Enterprise Advisors work directly with a school or college's leadership team to develop a careers programme and create connections between schools and local employers, to bring the world of work to life for students. This helps them think about where their skills and interests fit best.  

It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop core behaviours including commercial drive; enabling others through change and transition, business acumen; focus on ways to benefit individuals and society and people practice; taking a coaching and consultative role. You can find out more about the core behaviours on our new People Profession Map.

Keep your skills up to date whilst creating a brighter future for the next generation of jobseekers. Find out more at 

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