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Talent Acquisition & Management

26 May 2022 00:00:00

A career in defence is like no other. The opportunities offered are vast, exciting and important. As the nature of warfare and threat evolves, talent management becomes vital in ensuring UK defence has the capability, skills and workforce to meet the demands of modern military operations.  

This one-day virtual conference explored the conversations around modifying the defence career mindset. Unpacking relatively fixed career paths and traditional talent management approaches, against a backdrop of increasing competition to attract talent and address skills shortages. The influence of accelerated digital innovation in evolving digital skills capability required, and building a dynamic workforce culture continuously equipping personnel with new skills to confront new and unexpected threats.

       

What does all this mean in terms of recruiting, retaining and developing talent? This one-day virtual MISO conference discussed the latest developments in defence's approach to re-align its thinking around talent management via high-ranking keynote interviews, deep dive panel discussions from senior military officials, case study presentations and selected product demonstrations through an interactive TV production format.

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In Conversation With… Rear Admiral Marshall CBE

 In Conversation With… Rear Admiral Marshall CBE

Talent management is not a new subject for the Defence engineering sector, but it is an increasingly vital one as the future of multi-domain warfare changes in line with technological developments. Defence Engineers continue to find themselves tasked with designing, manufacturing, operating, maintaining and managing increasingly complex systems at the leading edge of technology alongside the rapid evolution of the sustainability and ethics agenda.  This requires a resilient, diverse and agile workforce who are comfortable operating in the information age, as the UK increases the use of science, technology and data.  As part of the biggest programme of investment in Defence since the end of the Cold War, the Defence sector must therefore re-align its thinking, to attract and leverage the right people and develop their skills to meet the demands of modern military operations.  

Rear Admiral Marshall joins us in his capacity as the UK’s Defence Engineering Champion, to discuss what that re-alignment looks like and his vision for the future of Defence engineering skills. 

  • Setting the National and defence context in terms of the challenge
  • Noting that the IR demands a significant increase in the exploitation of technology, does defence have the right attitude toward skills and talent management? 
  • How can industry and military improve overall collaboration in terms of skills and talent management, rather than allowing it to become a competitive environment? 
  • Insights and practical examples where defence is changing the way it is approaching the skills and talent management challenge? 
Air Vice-Marshal (Retd.) Gary Waterfall CBE, Military Advisor, Clarion Defence
Rear Admiral Paul Marshall CBE, Director Naval Acquisition and UK Defence Engineering Champion, UK Ministry of Defence

 

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PANEL: Investing in the development of our people: Future skills requirements for changing operational theatres

PANEL: Investing in the development of our people: Future skills requirements for changing operational theatres

  • The human capital: What does a multi-domain integration approach to talent, skills and capability look like and do we have the right skilled personnel, if not how might we grow and develop them?
  • Realising the potential of the Digital Backbone through our people – are we seeing good examples of digital agile approaches and mindsets working today?
  • Nimble mindedness: How are the different domains thinking about future skills and personnel?
  • Identifying ideas from the marketplace that will benefit defence – do we need to track skills that currently sit in the civil sectors into the military, and improve our appetite for risk, innovation and openness?
Moderator: Rusmat Ahmed, SVP Sales - EMEA, Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Phil Pauley, Director, ESTA and Futurist
Graham Ball, Deputy Director for the MDI Change programme, UK Strategic Command
Claire Fry, Director Functional Integration, Defence Digital
Air Commodore Mike Wilson, ACOS RAF Digital, Royal Air Force 

 

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PANEL: Upskilling and retaining talent – what’s the problem and how do we fix it?

PANEL: Upskilling and retaining talent – what’s the problem and how do we fix it?

  • Futureproofing skills: How are we maintaining sector resilience through the technical, practical, personal and people skills required for today and tomorrow’s world?
  • Enhancing training – improving fidelity in training scenarios and approaches in delivery
  • Tackling the neglected middle: Smoothing access and transition to switch role specialities – how do we build agility and flexibility into the traditional defence doctrine?
  • Talent management at the coal face: How do we rework traditional entry through to career progression structures; explore the interest in zig-zag careers, and break the short tour to private sector cycle?
  • Culture and leadership: How are defence balancing future capability, placing personnel into jobs that need to be filled versus aspirational suitable positions?
Moderator: Eleanor Ramsey, Selborne Programme Director, University of Lincoln 
Richard Holroyd, Managing Director and Client Partner – Defence, Fire and Security, Capita 
Professor Anu Ojha, Director, National Space Academy 
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Fernando, Commanding Officer - Defence School of Healthcare Education, UK StratCom

 

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KEYNOTE: Anticipating tomorrow - transforming the defence workforce experience

KEYNOTE: Anticipating tomorrow - transforming the defence workforce experience

  • How is training, policies and capability planning evolving to match the evolving threat landscape above and below the threshold of conflict?
  • Pilots and projects: Insights from military efforts in strengthening digital capability talent pipelines, training modernisation and retention strategies – lessons learned and results achieved
  • Are we keeping pace with the increasing capabilities of our adversaries and have we fallen behind in accessing the specialist skills we need?
  • How are defence learning from, competing and collaborating with industry to maintain our competitive edge?
  • Catering to new generations of digital native talent coming into the labour market wanting a career in the MOD – how are we adapting?
  Rear Admiral Phil Hally CB MBE, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel Capability), Royal Navy
 

 

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PANEL: Taking an enterprise approach to the skills challenge

PANEL: Taking an enterprise approach to the skills challenge

  • Insights from across the single services on training programmes and career pathway planning – progress, vision and roadmap ahead
  • The talent turnover: Understanding our cultural obstacles and addressing the systemic challenges to benefit from cross-sector career mobility and reduce loss of priority cohorts of skilled personnel
  • How do we best use technology and talent roadmaps to forecast skills requirements and designing training around that?
  • Addressing the lure of the civilian career: Considerations on the impact of the artificial boundaries, glass ceilings and psychological wellbeing
Moderator: Matt Smith, Director of Analysis, Shephard Media
Andrew Kinniburgh, Director-General, Make UK Defence 
Air-Vice Marshal Maria Byford, COS Personnel and Air Secretary, Royal Air Force
Dr Craig Marsh, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln 
Jo Rayson, Managing Director Training, Babcock International

 

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KEYNOTE: Accelerating change in talent management in order to maximise potential

KEYNOTE: Accelerating change in talent management in order to maximise potential

  • How do we encourage leaders and managers to “role model” organisational learning and champion the development of talent?
  • What is the greatest challenge around growing the required skills in new technologies while operating legacy platforms?
  • Are we making the best use of our Reserves?

Brigadier James Cook OBE, Director Programme CASTLE, British Army HQ

 

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PANEL: Exploring the benefits of a diverse workforce in creating a stronger UK defence capability

PANEL: Exploring the benefits of a diverse workforce in creating a stronger UK defence capability

  • Developing the commercial approach: What are the bold leadership approaches needed to improve the sector’s competitiveness, capability and innovation?
  • The links between prosperity and productivity - establishing an early career training bedrock that builds cognitive creativity, autonomy and innovation at its heart
  • Building leading edge capability: How does the industry attract and retain talent, appear relevant and appeal to diverse suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP)?
  • How could defence better access skills and move towards a system that allows for more entry at a senior hire or specific technical skill level to build neurodiversity capability? 
Moderator: Hashim Hassan, Science Advisor: People and Training, DST
Lance Corporal Jack Kanani, Royal Marine Commando, Chair, Royal Navy Race Diversity Network
Lieutenant Commander Norma Muyambo, Defence People - TESSR Skills Policy, UK Ministry of Defence
Jenny Sandham, Defence Social Mobility Champion

 

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In Conversation With… General Sir Nick Carter, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, MOD

In Conversation With… General Sir Nick Carter, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, MOD

  • Reflections of how the armed forces have changed for women – progress to date, positive actions, cultural aspirations and enablers improving defence workforce culture
  • Whole force approach in moving the dial forward in leadership, talent development and training, complaints handling and accountability to create a more inclusive environment for women in defence
  • Response to key concerns by women in defence – from bullying and harassment through to improving career structures, flexible working, parental leave and embedding D&I
Interviewer: Angela Owen OBE, Founder, Women in Defence UK
General Sir Nick Carter GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, UK Ministry of Defence

 

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