Business and People Strategy and Performance

Building a Future-Fit Workforce: Reskilling and Rethinking Work

  • In Person Events
  • September 21, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm UTC-1
  • London, United Kingdom

Fast forward ten years from today and the workforce is likely to look substantially different across multiple factors including demographics, skills, technology, and working practices.  

Driven by the introduction of robotic process automation, AI and other technologies, it is likely that the impact of coming changes will be felt most amongst workers in routine, often frontline roles, such as customer services or operations. Research from various sources indicates that a significant proportion of the workforce could be negatively impacted by such changes.

In our research we will explore the implications of the coming shift in terms of reskilling, designing how and where work takes place, and how we organise, manage and deploy people. We will examine to what extent organisations are taking meaningful and practical steps to anticipate and accelerate these changes.

Our research will describe and quantify:

  • Is the talk of ‘the future of work’ post-Covid leading to real change now – or is it all just hype?
  • Where are organisations reskilling existing workers – and to what extent are employers also equipping employees for change? Who is funding education and learning for roles outside of their organisation? Why and how are they doing this?
  • Which organisations are taking steps now to redesign work and embrace agile teams and new ways of working? How are they doing this?
  • What new approaches to the change management process are being pursued in light of the potentially ‘once in a generation’ changes to the workplace? How are companies organising to prepare for the future workforce shift?
  • Which employers are introducing new employment models and reassessing approaches to working time in light of both C-19 and impending technological change? What practices are emerging?

We will outline what steps organisations can take to prepare for the future of work, and explore case studies of businesses which have already made progress on this journey.

Learning objectives:

  • Review your people strategy to determine how well prepared your organisation is for the expected workforce shift
  • Consider ongoing shifts in patterns of employment and what they mean for your workforce and your business
  • Think through your responsibilities as an employer and how to support your people in preparing for the future workplace
  • Explore how we might harness innovation in how we organise and design work, not just in how we deploy technology
  • Consider the implications for learning and development, remote working, and how we design jobs to optimise meaning, purpose and engagement
  • Navigate your way through what could be a set of significant challenges.


Bev Cunningham

Senior Vice President, HR, Ricoh Europe PLC

With over 15 years operating at C-level in Global organisations, Bev Cunningham prides bringing energy, dynamism and a sharp focus to all she does.

Bev’s background is in Human Resources with a particular emphasis on Strategic Workforce Planning, Talent Development and Employee Engagement. Her experience spans multiple sectors including IT Services, Technology, FMCG and Manufacturing.

Her achievements are based on her having a clear vision; that creating the right culture and leadership style enables people to grow and develop as their organisation transforms, helping to ensure they remain relevant, engaged and successful.

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Nick Dalton

Speaker, Author and Advocate, Paradox HR

Nick is a speaker, author and advocate for ‘Paradox HR’. Until the end of 2020, he was Executive Vice President HR Business Transformation for Unilever. After graduating with a degree in Politics and Economics from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, he joined Unilever in 1986 as an Employee Relations Manager in a Bird’s Eye Walls Factory. After 15 years working in Bird’s Eye in various locations, Nick went to Rotterdam, the Netherlands to work in Unilever’s ice cream and frozen food business in Europe where his role was to scale and regionalise the business. Followed by Switzerland to establish the ‘Unilever Supply Chain Company’, first on a European level and then globally. Before becoming EVP HR for Business Transformation, Nick was EVP HR for Europe and the Global Markets, having day to day responsibility for Unilever’s HR partnering globally. 

The last 30 years, have seen him covering all areas of HR, ranging from introducing new information systems, designing new reward systems for sales forces, working with marketing to speed up innovation times, to setting up new Companies and troubleshooting industrial relations ‘crisis’ across the globe. 

His passion is for change management, organisational development and industrial/employee relations. He describes his ‘purpose’ as ‘bringing creativity from conflict’ and is an HR professional, because he believes that if ‘we change the workplace, we do change the world’. He co-authored the book The HR (R) Evolution: Change the Workplace, Change the World (2019, Routledge). 

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Ravin Jesuthasan

Global Leader of Transformation Services Business, Mercer

Ravin Jesuthasan is the global leader of Mercer’s Transformation Services business. He is a recognised global thought leader, futurist and author on the future of work and workforce transformation. He has led multiple research efforts on the global workforce, the emerging digital economy, the rise of artificial intelligence and the transformation of work. Ravin has led numerous research projects for the World Economic Forum including many of its ground-breaking studies on the transformation of work and the global workforce and is a member of the forum’s Steering Committee on Work and Employment. He is the author of the books Transformative HR, Lead The Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment and Reinventing Jobs: A 4-Step Approach to Applying Automation to Work. Ravin has authored over 150 articles including 14 for the Harvard Business Review and the Sloan Management Review.

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Gillian Pillans

Research Director, Corporate Research Forum

Gillian has worked as a senior HR practitioner and OD specialist for several organisations including Swiss Re, Vodafone and BAA. Prior to her HR career, she was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and is also a qualified solicitor. Gillian has written various CRF reports on subjects including HR strategy, organisation design and development, leadership development, coaching and diversity.

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