Valuable skill sets during a pandemic

It is safe to say that the pandemic has had a significant impact on most businesses in the UK. For many, it has not a positive one and some businesses will have had to make changes within their companies to weather the storm.

Many others will be taking a hard look at their future skills needs, to try to get ahead of the game, particularly with the furlough scheme coming to an end on 31 March 2021.

In a report from Prospects Luminate exploring skills shortages in the UK 2019/20, aspects that were highlighted have been exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic. The Local Government Association estimates that demand for digital skills will become increasingly important as technology advances.

This year has seen millions of staff working virtually and it is thought that at least partial remote working will become commonplace going forward. Creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal communication skills and leadership skills are also highly sought after at this time and are highly transferable to all areas of business.

Skills gaps

Unfortunately for many businesses, it was inevitable that some restructuring and redundancies had to be made to combat the drop in business and shift in the marketplace. These changes may have left skills gaps within businesses, but these could be filled by retraining existing staff in many cases.

Digital skills

IT skills remain critical to business performance so ensuring your staff are up to date with their technical skills is a must, especially at a time when we are relying on IT more than ever to enable us to work remotely. These technical skills could be anything from operating email, project management and customer service systems, to undertaking database management, corporate communications and social media management.

At PETA, we offer IT Surgeries and bespoke coaching programmes that can be tailored to your specific business needs and delivered to individuals or groups. This training could cover any aspect of IT that is relevant to you, from specialist systems to Google software to Microsoft Applications. Our professional coaching programmes will successfully address any IT issues that exist within your team and upskill your staff in line with the latest IT developments.

Professional-level occupations

Managerial and professional-level jobs are notoriously hard to fill. 43% of respondents to the Employer Skills Survey 2017 said that managerial positions were hard to fill due to low numbers of applicants with the required skills, with 29% citing a lack of work experience. If your business is in this position, one option could be to consider internal promotions within your existing team.

If you have staff who have a wealth of work experience, why not invest in some training to develop their management and leadership skills? By doing this, you can guide them to be the sort of manager you want leading part of your business. You could choose team members who have had supervisory responsibilities or project management experience in the past and build upon those skills.

Our training options

PETA offers a wide range of management and leadership courses. From one-day courses to 5 or 6-day programmes and longer, more in-depth certificates and diplomas, we’re sure to have the right course to suit your training needs. Some of our courses are particularly relevant for retraining staff during the current climate:

Leading a Remote Team (1 day, 23 March)
Participants will learn the dynamics of managing remote workers which will maximise the performance of those teams. They will also discover how to set clear guidelines, objectives and tasks that will create a productive remote environment and generate a culture of inclusion for all team members.

Mate to Manager - Making the Transition (1 day, 10 March)
Ideal for new and emerging managers, team leaders and supervisors who have been promoted and need to make the transition into a leadership role. Participants will gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in achieving business-critical tasks, whilst employers will save recruitment costs and retain specialised business knowledge.

Management Essentials (6 days - weekly - starting 4 February)
This course is perfect for those new to management and provides an overview of the key concepts and practicalities of management and leadership. Attendees will develop and enhance their management skills to help foster an open and communicative culture that will help to drive performance and impact on the timely achievement of vital objectives.

If you’re looking for more in-depth training, our CMI certificates and diplomas could be ideally suited to your requirements. Choose from:

  • CMI Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Management and Leadership - 6.5 days, starting 5 March
  • CMI Level 3 Diploma in the principles of management and Leadership - 16.5 days, starting 5 March
  • CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership - 6.5 days, starting 15 January
  • CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership - 16.5 days, starting 15 January
Professional coaching

We offer a range of services that will deliver the training you’re looking for. Our professional coaches can help employees and employers alike, whether it’s overcoming individual challenges, leadership development or changing direction. Our team of experienced coaches will work with you to create a bespoke coaching package that meets the needs of all involved. An initial consultation meeting with your dedicated Business Coach will give them the opportunity to recommend and tailor a bespoke package from our gold, silver or bronze services.


The Luminate report also stated that other industries to experience a particularly large number of hard-to-fill vacancies at professional level included engineering, computer programming and consultancy, HR, financial services, office administrative, support and business activities and retail trade.

These are all areas that could be covered by an apprenticeship. You could create a role within the area of your organisation that requires it and take on an apprentice to fill that position. That new member of staff will be trained up, enabling you to plug a skill gap you have within your business.

Apprenticeships can be designed around a specific role and can include qualifications and accreditations to complement the on-the-job training they will also receive. By taking on an apprentice, you may be eligible for funding, which could make it an extremely cost effective solution. 

Get in touch to find out more about our management courses, advice and consultancy services and apprenticeships. Through these routes, we can help you plan for the future skills needs of your business, whatever they may be.


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