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Workforce planning in uncertain times - issues, tools and techniques - fully boooked

This is a practical workshop designed to help HE organisations address the uncertainties in the current political and economic environment to enable better workforce planning.

Taking the most pressing workforce concerns for the future, such as Brexit, new HE providers, changing student numbers and fee systems, the workshop will examine tools and techniques such as scenario planning for dealing with the uncertainties that surround these issues. Whilst admitting the limitations of future prediction the workshop will show how HE employers can put their workforce planning into better shape by improving knowledge of workforce supply and getting the best overview of workforce demand. The workshop will consider risks and how to mitigate them; review labour market knowledge and how best to acquire it; how to identify stakeholders and how to influence them.

This workshop, led by Peter Reilly and Wendy Hirsh of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), will include short presentations explaining relevant tools and techniques illustrated with real-life examples of practice plus facilitated group work discussions. Delegates will be asked to provide some information in advance of the workshop so that group work discussions can focus on attendees’ own issues.

Areas covered will include:

  • The environmental context within which HE employers operate.
  • The tools and techniques that can be used to deal with these issues - including scenario planning, risk management, contingency planning, prioritisation models, Pestle, SWOT, etc.
  • Discussing how these tools can be used most effectively in an HE setting.
  • Understanding in more detail the sources of uncertainty on workforce numbers/types.
  • Asking what will be similar and what different depending on the change outcome.
  • Considering where changes will have most impact.
  • Focusing on the high impact/most uncertain.
  • Considering what information is needed, what data are missing and how they can be acquired.
  • Identifying the likely risks and identifying what can be done to mitigate them, including contingency planning.
  • Thinking of what actions are needed to address the issues and identifying who needs to be influenced.

The day will run between 10.15 am and 3.30pm (registration from 9.45am) and will take place at a central London (WC1H) location. A timed programme can be found below.

Workforce planning in uncertain times - programme

This workshop is part of a wider suite of events facilitated by IES looking at strategic workforce planning issues. The other scheduled workshops (more details will be available shortly) will be:

  • Succession planning – strengthening your talent pipelines - Wednesday 22 March
  • Attracting and retaining key talent - Tuesday 23 May
  • HR analytics and data management – using insight to deliver business benefits - Monday 12 June

Please email if you wish to be sent more information on these workshops.

This workshop is fully booked


Prices and booking processes:

Participants from UCEA member HEIs

£359 per place.

If you work at a UCEA member institution and wish to attend a future run of this workshop please email

Participants from other HEIs and HE sector agencies

£459 per place.

Please email for more information.