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Inspiring Your Continuous Professional Development - September 2021

30 09.21

 Welcome to the CPD Newsletter for September 2021, in a bright new look

Finding time in our busy professional lives for CPD can often be a challenge. This newsletter provides some suggestions for CPD activities and provides links so that you can access or book the activity quickly.

Undertaking CPD meets one of the principles of the CDI Code of Ethics for all CDI members. If you are also on the UK Register of Career Development Professionals there is a 25 hours per year requirement of undertaking CPD and writing a short reflective report in your CPD Record accessed through the landing page of the Members’ area.

This month: SKILLS


Skills are on the agenda

You recently received information through the CDI about the National Skills Fund consultation on its £2.5 billion investment, underpinning steps towards the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and the ambition for people to be able to train, retrain and upskill throughout their lives. For career practitioners, the immediate questions relate to the changing skills needs and employment patterns, on which they need to be knowledgeable in order to support those who seek their help.

Although the NSF consultation closed on 17 September, if you missed the consultation document, it can be accessed through the link. It explains the government’s progress and future ideas on free Level 3 training for adults, Skills Bootcamps, and addressing critical skill priorities.

The changing world of ‘skills’

We’ve talked before about hybrid jobs, those that combine elements and skills of other, previously separate, roles, and how this trend is growing under the influence of digital technologies. Now the World Economic Forum proposes that we need a new Global Skills Taxonomy if we are to capture how skills are being mixed and matched in new combinations. There is an introductory article (NCDA 2021) as well as the thought-provoking report from WEF (2021) exploring how skills should be categorised. This could be useful underpinning for how we talk with clients about developing skills, rather than choosing one specific job. It also considers skills similarities between jobs with very different pay profiles, and how a focus on skills encourages recruitment that does not restrict the chances of people from more marginalised backgrounds.

Changing skills and changing jobs

There is a data-rich interactive website delivered by OECD, which offers a number of facilities. Using the ‘Discover Skills’ option, at country level, you can see skills in growth or decline, select any skill and explore both the sub-skills of which it is comprised and the hard-to-fill occupations where the skill is important, along with a 5-factor analysis of why the occupation is hard-to-fill. Then you can choose your own region and see the skills that are growing and declining. Finally, and possibly of use in your work with people whose career is derailed by the pandemic, there is a ‘Change Career’ option. By entering a current occupation and a possible future one, you can see the skill development needed to make that career change.

Not just changing jobs – jobs are changing!

McKinsey offers analysis of the 40% of jobs that require partial re-skilling, as well as the 14% where workers will need to fully reskill for job change. They identify four key themes which will be needed as – in just one example – a retail cashier will need enhanced ‘adaptability and resilience skills to become a customer service representative’ as checkout systems are automated.

Life skills – or are they core, transversal or transferable skills?

Whatever we call them, it is clear that these personal skills are the most significant ones in today’s labour market. Prospects HE questions ‘What skills do employers want?’ and identifies seven, plus work experience. Emphasising this point, an Institute of Student Employers’ video explains that 86% of employers don’t recruit graduates by degree subject but are looking for core skills to which they can then add technical training.

Resources for life skills

Skills You Need offers a resource bank that could be useful with your clients of any age or background. They identify ten core life skills, and provide detailed descriptions and extensive self-help materials for most of them. As well as being useful to clients, it is a rich resource for practitioners developing materials for group events. [Many materials are free, but a few are priced]

Skills mismatches and shortages

The Industrial Strategy Council, advising government on the implementation of the National Industrial Strategy, has published UK Skills Mismatch in 2030. With a focus towards the 80% of the 2030 workforce who are already at work, key problem areas, from doctors to digital to teaching, are analysed, with mismatch including over-skilled as well as under-skilled. It is informative for ourselves, and also a good source of charts and infographics to support reports and presentations.

The subsequent report Rising to the UK’s Skills Challenges emphasises the need for clear information and guidance to support individuals’ career development and reskilling, though with sadly little reference to the professionals who can deliver this.

Green skills

An important aspect of reskilling is adapting to the knowledge and technologies of a ‘greener’ future which affects the great majority of occupations, not just specifically ‘green jobs’. Two recent Emsi webinars explore this field, analysing the need for green skills by skill level (from professional to low-skill) across a wide range of industrial sectors. You can also access the recording of a recent NICEC seminar on moving to a greener economy, along with a resource pack on green skills.

Your own skills

Career development professionals are not immune from the need for raising and adapting their skills. The increased need for digital skills is addressed through Digital Bytes, with upcoming events including adding subtitles to videos and using Instagram. You can find these along with many others on the CDI’s Training and Events page.

Take these ideas further with CDI colleagues

Hundreds of CDI members participate in the Communities of Practice, one for Career Development Professionals, another for Careers Leaders, and one for members in Scotland. The mutual support and high rate of response to people posting queries and dilemmas are impressive.
The CDI has many other Community of Interest LinkedIn groups, which are a good place for discussing professional development issues and personal dilemmas with other members. They offer a chance for connecting with colleagues and sharing common concerns.


For any issues with accessing the members’ only area please email

For any questions relating to CPD Recording or this email please contact

Dr Lyn Barham
CDI Fellow and Project Associate (Research)