Enable - developing skills and talent

Closing the gap

Open Outsourcing looks at the current UK skills gap debate and examples of how the outsourcing industry works with partners to encourage careers in outsourcing, upskill employees and promote continued learning and development.

Growing economy increases skills crisis

With UK economic growth passing its pre-crisis peak in 2014, companies up and down the country are focused on expansion once again. But recent research from The Prince’s Trust and HSBC indicates that business leaders are facing skills gaps, threatening to halt their progress.


“While the crisis that rocked the UK economy has abated and British businesses are reporting heightened demand for their services, employers tell us they are increasingly concerned by skills shortages developing as a consequence of this accelerated growth.” Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust

Looking to outsourcing to fill the gap

Can the outsourcing sector play a role in addressing this challenge? In simple terms, yes it can: working with a partner gives businesses access to skills and expertise that may not be available in-house, and enables them to rapidly scale their operations to meet increased demand.


“Specialist expertise has always been important in outsourcing and this requirement has become even more critical over the past year as outsourcing has continued to move up the value chain. Areas where organisations now seek specialist capability range from improving multi-channel customer journeys within sales and service to providing capital market regulatory support, with a strong move to incorporate analytics throughout.” John Willmott, CEO, NelsonHall

Upskilling the sector

In order to be able to provide skilled people who are able to support the current growth cycle and drive innovation in various sectors, the UK outsourcing industry is focused on establishing qualifi cations from base-level education through to post-graduate diplomas.


“Outsourcing has often been viewed as the accidental profession – something people fi nd themselves in. That’s why we’re working with industry partners and education providers to develop qualifi cations that recognise excellence in outsourcing skills and helps position outsourcing as a professional career of choice.” Kerry Hallard, Chief Executive of the UK’s National Outsourcing Association (NOA)

Developing people and skills

Arvato works with clients and the Prince’s Trust to provide apprenticeships and help young people into a career in outsourcing. This is followed by a focus on on-going learning and development.


“Talented, motivated and skilled people are key to our success and that of our clients. That’s why we invest in training and developing our employees to help them grow with Arvato and shape the future of our business.” Debra Maxwell, Managing Director, Arvato UK

1. ‘The Skills Crunch - Upskilling the workforce of the future’ – Study by The Prince’s Trust and HSBC 2014, 2. Oxford Economics 2011 – Oxford Economics defi nes outsourcing as “The supply of services governed by an on-going or time-specifi c agreement involving a degree of delegation of management responsibility, where that service would more typically be provided, or would in the past (UK 1950-2000s) have been provided, by an in-house team of the customer themselves.”, 3. Coleman Parkes Research, based on interviews with 100 senior BPO clients in 2012, 4. People in Outsourcing Research, NOA, 2013