4 Hard Skills You Need for a Leadership Position

The labour market is constantly changing and both employees and managers must follow its rules. Today, it’s simply necessary to educate yourself and upgrade your knowledge that will help you manage a business confidently, stay rational and make strategic decisions. So let’s look at the key hard skills that are required for a leadership position now.

But before we begin, let us give you a small piece of advice. Once you read this article, you are likely to feel inspired to start a course or internship to enhance your abilities. This requires time and attention and if you lack them, don’t worry. Just pay to write essay and a talented author will be found at once. Indeed, delegating tasks to someone reliable is surely something worth trying. Basically, it’s a way to manage it all in our stressful times.

What Are Hard Skills?

According to recruiters, these are skills that a person can demonstrate here and now. This is true for foreign languages expertise, technical knowledge, quick information analysis, and others. These skills can be confirmed either in practice or by certificates and diplomas. They are narrow, belong to a specific field and make up about 30% of all competencies.

To get a basic set of hard skills, you need to use IQ while emotional intelligence is crucial for soft ones. The first skills are easy to identify as they can be tested on the spot. But when determining priorities, one must consider the specifics of the business.

For example, the head of a recruiting agency must easily conduct an interview and choose the best candidates, and an experienced restaurateur can replace the chef if needed. A senior web developer will fix someone else’s code and perform software testing in case of force majeure, while the head of an online store must be able to multitask and know how the website works.

Some skills are obtained at a university or college, and you get additional ones thanks to courses or online academies. However, the main thing is of course, practice.

Hard skills can be called the foundation of a career path. Imagine that you are a software development specialist. Important competencies for you will include thorough knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. However, a journalist must know how to draw up content plans, distribute tasks among authors and proofread numerous texts.

Therefore, hard skills guarantee that you perform your tasks brilliantly. So, what ar those skills for a leader?

Business Expertise

A person in a leadership position must be a universal specialist, so it is worth focusing on the following professional competencies:

  • Sales management;
  • Supply and logistics;
  • Audit and analysis;
  • Business correspondence and communication;
  • Monitoring of the competitors;
  • Control of key performance indicators;
  • Human resource management;
  • Budgeting.

Industry knowledge is super important as well. For example, if a company is related to cars, then the manager must know the assortment, names of components and brands of cars by heart.

If you work in an online store, be sure to study the principles of the site and the main rules of communication with customers. The more knowledge, the easier it will be for you to expand the business and make it flourish.

Foreign Languages

Without knowledge of a foreign language, it is difficult to grow a business, look for suppliers, customers and investors abroad. Knowledge of a foreign language is the second most important hard skill. The priority today is Spanish and Chinese. However, if you work with suppliers from Japan or Germany, then it is better to pay attention to the languages of these countries.

Learning a foreign language is an investment that will definitely pay off. You can start online courses, chat with native speakers via Skype, or work with a tutor.

Software Proficiency

  • Knowledge of all programs with which the staff works;
  • Cloud services used to make presentations, create tables and text documents;
  • Programs applied for time management and financial literacy;
  • Fast typing;
  • Ability to make effective research;
  • Work with planners, password storage systems
  • Task setting;
  • Using instant messengers and programs for online conferences.
  • Such a high level of basic knowledge is essential so that the manager has the opportunity to assist the staff and solve arising problems.

Skills Whose Importance Is Increasing Every Day

  • Basics of negotiations;
  • Knowledge of the law;
  • Ability to conduct interviews;
  • Techniques of material and non-material motivation;
  • Involving the staff in the work process;
  • Controlling task execution.

How To Develop Hard Skills?

In today’s world, new technologies and new information emerge non-stop. Therefore, a true professional not only has to maintain competencies at the proper level, but also improve them constantly. Here are some tips on how to develop hard skills that are relevant to any field:

  • Upgrade your skills by taking additional courses, attending conferences and forums and taking part in master classes and workshops. Also, why not take an internship? All this will help to get additional practice;
  • Study books, webinars and lectures on your own. The main thing here is reliable sources of information;
  • Volunteer in non-profit organizations where you can practice accounting, programming, promotion and more;
  • Take online courses where you can take real orders, such as interior design or landing page creation. With such training, you will be under the guidance of experienced professionals. Plus, certificates and diplomas are never redundant;
  • Exchange experience with colleagues;
  • Study management and foreign languages;
  • Take part in paid or unpaid internships to combine work with study.

As a result, you will get new experiences, add a line to your resume, make acquaintances, or even get cooperation offers.

To Wrap It Up

Do you want to become a multitasking specialist and modernize business processes? Upgrade your hard skills then. Many qualities come with experience, but most can be developed through training, courses, coaches and other techniques. By strengthening them, the manager invests not only in their future, but the effectiveness of the whole team.

In the modern world, more and more processes are being automated. Therefore, a professional who predicts various situations and knows how to build communication, becomes an indispensable specialist. To remain competitive in the labour market, you must never stop growing.


9 Skills Students Need to Grow Business

These days, starting a business seems to be easier than ever. The Internet and technologies have given us so many opportunities that even a college student can launch a startup and start making a profit.

Although getting started is fairly easy, achieving success isn’t. The data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics indicates that 10% of new ventures fail within 1-2 years. Another 45% fail in the following 5 years and 65% don’t make it to the first 10 years. What makes all these companies fail and how can you avoid the same fate?

The truth is that the success of a business is determined by a number of factors. First of all, it’s time and commitment. Starting a business in college you should expect it to take nearly 100% of your time and effort. To have enough time, you might need to use “write my paper for me” services and delegate your academic matters to professionals. On top of that, you also need to have a number of skills that successful entrepreneurs possess. In this article, we will tell you about the top nine skills you need to acquire to grow your venture with ease! 

Communication and Networking

Whether in business, at work, or in your personal life, this is the #1 skill you need to attain your goals and succeed. The ability to communicate effectively with different types of people is what sets successful people apart from the rest. They seem to know how to build a good rapport with everyone, including customers, employees, investors, and suppliers. As a result, they seem to get everything they want with ease.

In order to ensure the stable growth of your venture, you also have to master the art of effective communication. Networking skills will also come in handy. To acquire and hone them, start networking like it’s your job. Meet new people, learn to engage them, and learn how to make your connections last.

Financial Management

Every company has to deal with lots of financial matters. From cash flow to taxes and prices for products, all these operations must be aligned for business success. In order to make this real, entrepreneurs must have a strong understanding of financial management.

Before scaling your business, you should learn how to manage finances the right way. You must understand how to create financial statements, identify budgets, and manage other things. Once you learn it, you will be able to make more informed financial decisions that will bring growth and prosperity to your company.


When launching a student startup, chances are that you will start as a loner wolf. However, the only way to scale and succeed is to expand your team. And that’s where you won’t go far without strong leadership skills.

Being a real leader is essential for managing employees, inspiring teamwork, and making important decisions. Only with these skills, you will be able to reach set goals.

Time Management

Ask any successful person what’s the secret to their productivity and they will say it’s effective time management. Indeed, the ability to manage your schedule wisely is critical for entrepreneurs.

As a business owner, you will have to juggle many different tasks and responsibilities. To handle this, you must learn how to prioritize tasks, set goals, and manage your time accordingly. Once you hone this ability, you will become your most-productive self and will achieve the desired results with ease!


Entrepreneurship requires a lot of problem-solving. At every stage of your path, there will be pressing and unexpected challenges that require fast solutions. Therefore, in order to grow your venture, you must learn how to identify challenges, analyze data, and develop timely and effective solutions.


In addition to efficient problem-solving, entrepreneurs must be creative. Often, the right solutions and decisions require thinking outside the box. On top of that, let’s not forget that the modern business landscape is changing rapidly. Thus, creativity is also an essential skill for adopting innovations and thriving in constantly changing market conditions.


When just getting started, you might not have a sufficient budget for marketing. Still, it’s a crucial element of growth. Thus, in order to scale your venture and make your brand noticed, student entrepreneurs must also have a basic knowledge of how to market their products or services.

This includes several things. First of all, you must develop a strong understanding of the target audiences and markets. Also, you must be aware of the core trends and top practices. Finally, you must have a solid vision of the right marketing strategies and materials that will work for your brand.


In addition to the ability to market your products, you must have the ability to sell them. Successful student entrepreneurs must know their products or services thoroughly and recognize their benefits. Also, they must know who their target buyers are and what pain points they have.

All this knowledge will help you craft strategies that really work. As a result, you will be able to drive more sales and expand.

Emotional Intelligence

The last skill on our list has nothing to do with marketing or sales. Still, strong emotional intelligence is something every young entrepreneur must possess.

Needless to say, running a startup is very emotionally draining. It will take most of your free time and challenge you endlessly. As a result, you might be facing lots of stress. In such situations, emotional intelligence will help you manage stress, build relationships, and make better decisions regardless of external factors. Thus, it’s also a must-have.

The Bottom Line

Growing a successful business requires a combination of various skills. From communication and networking to the ability to market and sell your products – all these abilities will set you on the right track and help you achieve your goals.

Luckily, now you know about the core abilities that will help you. By developing these essential skills, you can position yourself for success as an entrepreneur and business leader. Good luck!

70% Of Students Wouldn’t Be Able To Cope Without Internet Access

6 Tips to Effectively Manage Your Remote Team

Remote working will prevail. There are still unresolved uncertainties regarding the number of remote workers that businesses will recruit and how frequently hybrid employees (people who spend some days in the office and some days working remotely) may do so. In either case, management must lead in providing hybrid and remote teams with the guidance and encouragement they require.

Managing a remote or hybrid workforce can be challenging while still creating integration, maintaining good morale, and increasing loyalty. Because of this, managers have to identify creative ways to bind groups closely, regardless of where their workers are situated.

This article will give you some tips to lead a team remotely while increasing work efficiency effectively.

6 Advice to Lead Remote Teams

Many tasks can now be carried out remotely because of technological advances. Software for collaboration, handheld platforms, and web access have advanced. AI-powered solutions are now available, making it even smoother for remote workers to coordinate activities with coworkers and bosses.

The guidance and true unifying force that your workforce requires, however, cannot be provided by automation. That is up to you. To help you with that, we have gathered some tips and strategies to manage remote teams better.

Decide on the Rules of Engagement

When supervisors establish expectations for their employees’ regularity, channels, and appropriate duration of interaction, working remotely becomes more productive and rewarding. For instance, “When there is an emergency, we utilize messaging, yet we employ teleconference for regular check-in discussions.” 

The optimal periods when it’s appropriate for teammates to contact their supervisor and for the supervisor to contact each staff person should also be established. Ensure exchange of information among colleagues as necessary.

Focus on the Results, Not on the Timeline

This gets generally understood as a solid strategy for elevating work engagement and giving them more leverage. Clarifying the objectives and intended outcomes before giving staff (who have the abilities and assets to carry them out, which is crucial) the liberty to develop a management plan fosters creativity and commitment. It is already challenging to micro-manage employees in a remote setting. Why not let them handle things on their own for once?

Clearly State the Why

Stating the WHY is essential for inspiring workers about the purpose. The cornerstone of elevated for remote employees is ensuring everyone comprehends the core objective and their part in attaining success on a new frontier with new projects, new competitors, and enormous quantities of ambiguity and complication.

Provide the Tech 

When people work remotely, many don’t have the proper gear to participate in meetings effectively. The company should provide its employees with new laptops, improved WiFi, and modern hardware like headphones and webcams as they become necessary for many remote teams. This might include reallocating already restricted finances to vital gear. Prepare the group for accomplishment.

Automate Your Operations

It is crucial to leverage technology to obtain accurate results in less time. If we see cryptocurrency, many people don’t employ it because they don’t understand its complicated procedures. But, with the advent of crypto bots like bitalpha AI, trading has become seamless and accurate.

So, if you have a sudden workload or want to store a massive amount of data that everyone can access, you can use cloud storage or automated bots. You should also provide your employees with the knowledge of handling that software so that they produce the best results, both the employees and the software.

Pay Extra Attention to New Recruits

A seasoned telecommuter might require less guidance than a novice. If someone has never worked remotely beforehand, they could feel highly disoriented or nervous when they begin; individuals with prior experience may be capable of assisting. After all, remote workers still thrive from working together and collaborating in the workplace.

Ending Note

Employees must understand that you trust them to invest the same amount of effort when they’re in the firm’s physical location, including preserving the same hours and producing at the same level as their coworkers who are based there.

Remote employees might think you don’t believe them if you often check in daily to analyze how the tasks are progressing.

Remote workers are often quite productive, which benefits when there’s supportive management. Your encouragement, leadership, and respect will efficiently encourage your employees to put forth their excellent efforts and experience a connection with each other and the business.

Ensuring Quality And Compliance In Care Homes: Best Practices For Success

Ensuring quality and compliance in care homes is of utmost importance for providing residents with a safe, supportive, and high-quality environment. The benefits of this approach go beyond just meeting regulatory requirements and can positively impact residents and staff.

For residents, quality and compliance in care homes mean they receive the best care tailored to their needs and preferences. This includes access to necessary resources, regular health assessments, and a well-maintained physical environment that promotes safety and comfort.

For staff, working in a care home that prioritises quality and compliance can lead to increased job satisfaction and a better work environment. With clear standards and protocols in place, staff are better equipped to provide high-quality care and are more likely to feel confident and fulfilled.

Furthermore, a focus on quality and compliance can help to build trust and confidence in the care home among residents, their families, and the wider community. This can lead to increased referrals and a stronger reputation for the care home, helping to ensure its long-term success.

Care homes must adhere to strict regulations and standards the government and healthcare organisations set while meeting each resident’s needs and preferences. Here are some best practices for ensuring quality and compliance in care homes.

Safety Regulations

Safety regulations ensure that care homes meet certain safety standards and provide residents with high-quality care. By following these regulations, care homes can provide a safe and secure environment for residents, protecting them from harm and ensuring their well-being.

Adhering to safety regulations helps care homes minimise risks and maintain high standards of care. For example, fire safety regulations can help ensure that care homes have appropriate fire safety systems in place, reducing the risk of fires and ensuring that residents and staff can evacuate the building safely in the event of an emergency. Similarly, food safety and hygiene regulations can help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses, ensuring that residents receive nutritious and safe meals.

In addition, complying with safety regulations can also demonstrate a care home’s commitment to quality and professionalism. By meeting and exceeding safety standards, care homes can build a reputation for providing high-quality care, attracting new residents and demonstrating their commitment to providing a safe and secure environment. For instance, the use of fire retardant care home curtains is a regulatory requirement in many countries and is an important part of ensuring the safety of residents and staff. Any care home looking to get such curtains can order from NHC Group Ltd.

By following these regulations, care homes can provide high-quality care to residents, minimise risks and demonstrate their commitment to quality and professionalism. Care homes should make it a priority to stay up-to-date with the latest safety regulations and ensure that they are adhering to all relevant standards.

Staff Training

Staff training is critical to ensuring quality and compliance in care homes. It plays a vital role in providing staff with the knowledge, skills, and support needed to provide residents with the highest quality care. By investing in staff training, care homes can create a positive environment for residents and staff, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and professional development.

Regular training allows staff to learn about new developments in the field, stay up-to-date with best practices and regulations, and gain a deeper understanding of residents’ needs and preferences. This, in turn, can lead to improved resident care, as staff are better equipped to respond to changing circumstances and provide individualised care.

Moreover, a strong staff training program can increase staff satisfaction, as it fosters a sense of empowerment and professional development. Staff who feel confident and supported in their roles are more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied with their work, leading to lower turnover rates and increased stability in the care home.

By providing staff with the resources and support they need to provide high-quality care, care homes can create a positive environment for residents and staff and promote a culture of continuous improvement.

Emergency Preparedness

By being prepared for emergencies, care homes can minimise the risk of harm to residents and staff and ensure they can respond effectively in an emergency.

Effective emergency preparedness requires care homes to have a comprehensive plan covering a range of potential emergencies, such as fires, natural disasters, and medical emergencies. This plan should be regularly reviewed and updated, and all staff should be trained on what to do in an emergency.

Care homes should also ensure they have the necessary equipment and resources to respond to emergencies. This includes fire alarms and extinguishers, first aid supplies, and emergency lighting. By having these resources in place, care homes can ensure that they can respond quickly and effectively to an emergency, minimising the risk of harm to residents and staff.

In addition, regular emergency drills can help care homes test and refine their emergency preparedness plans. By conducting drills, care homes can identify any weaknesses in their plans and take steps to improve them, ensuring they are always prepared for an emergency.

By having a comprehensive plan in place, ensuring that staff are trained on what to do in an emergency, and having the necessary equipment and resources in place, care homes can minimise the risk of harm to residents and staff and ensure that they are always prepared for an emergency.

Market Research Advice for First Generation Student Entrepreneurs

You may be a first generation student, which means you are the first in your family to attend college. It can be a difficult journey for a number of reasons, especially if you want to become an entrepreneur. Here are some:

Why is market research important?

Market research is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. It’s the only way to find out more about your target audience and competitors. You also need to know about the overall market conditions and the risks, challenges and opportunities they present.

Check whether your business idea is viable

You may have a nice idea for a business, but you don’t know whether it has the potential for success. You will have to do research to find out more about whether there is a demand for your product or service. Do such products and services already exist? If so, what would make customers want to buy from you? These are the questions you need to ask if you want your business to be successful.

Learn from essay examples

Doing market research takes time. As a student, you may have difficulty putting in this time and doing your college assignments. Reading essay examples, specifically the first-generation college student struggles essay on EduZaurus, can give you inspiration, and you can learn from them. If you can’t find a suitable free essay, you can use an expert writer for essay writing help. You can get a paper done quickly and efficiently in any subject within your deadline.

Identify your target customers

You need to have target customers in mind for your business to offer them a good customer experience. You have to ask yourself what problem your products or services solve and who would be willing to buy them. Demographics like age, gender, and education level can help you to determine this. They can also help you determine what they would be willing to spend. 

Understanding your customers on a deeper level would be to get to know them better as individuals. What do they value? What do they do for recreation? What type of lifestyle do they lead? Tools like focus groups and surveys can help you to find answers to these questions. Creating customer profiles and market segments will help you to personalize your market strategies.

Analyze your competitors

You will probably have some direct competitors who sell the same products or offer the same services as you. There will also be some indirect competitors who sell products or services similar to yours. You need to find out more about their products, the prices at which they offer them, how they reach their target audience, and what promotional strategies they use. 

The U.S. Small Business Association’s SizeUp tool will help you to find out more about nearby businesses that offer similar services. You can also find out what local consumers spend on your type of products or services. 

Meet your target customers

In-person conversations with your target customers can help you to find out more about what they expect from products or services like yours. You may learn where your competitors fall short so you can offer what they don’t. It will help if you can identify exactly how your product or service meets the needs of your prospective customers. Meeting them will help you to come up with the right marketing strategies.

Find the right vendors

How profitable your business will depend in part on how well you can negotiate with vendors. Building good partnerships with vendors can influence your success. With a perfect partnership, you know your materials will be available on time. You will have more negotiation power and can usually get better credit.

Keep doing market research

Research doesn’t end once you have done all the research you need to start your business. You need to constantly research and explore to uncover more opportunities and grow your business. The market is constantly changing, and you have to keep evolving if you want to stay competitive. 


As a first generation student entrepreneur, you understand that it takes hard work to achieve your goals. Market research doesn’t just consist of creating surveys or polls. You have to gather and analyze data about the market, your customers, your competition and your vendors. This gives you the information you need to draw attention to your business and help it to grow.

National Apprenticeship Week: Expert Tips for Aspiring Apprentices


This week (6-12th February) is National Apprenticeship Week, and to help aspiring trade apprentices, IronmongeryDirect has created an expert guide including everything you need to know before applying.


What’s an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are schemes offered by employers and educational facilities. They offer a combination of on and off the job training to achieve a qualification in the relevant field. You’ll be paid an apprenticeship wage, and will have similar benefits to regular employees – like sick pay and a holiday allowance. You’ll be completing real working hours, and courses usually last between 1 and 5 years.


What can I get an apprenticeship in?

Apprenticeships are available in just about any career choice – and we’ll explain how to find the best apprenticeship for yourself in more detail below. Apprenticeships are particularly popular in trade careers because firsthand experience is usually essential to learning more physical, manual or vocational jobs.


Who can be an apprentice?

If you’re interested in taking the first step towards your dream trade career, you’ll need to know if an apprenticeship is suitable for your circumstances. In the UK, you’ll have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for an apprenticeship:

  • You’ll need to be at least 16 years old
  • You’ll need the right to live and work in England
  • You can’t already be in full-time education
  • You can’t already have a similar job

However, that’s not all you’ll need for a successful apprenticeship. Apprenticeships require hard work, dedication, constructive criticism and growth. Throughout your apprenticeship, you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re capable of being professional and working well with an employer. You’ll need to be punctual, making sure you attend work and training on time – both your education provider and employer can terminate your apprenticeship if you’re not able to meet the terms of your contract.


Levels and qualifications

Apprenticeships are often available at different levels, and how much experience or the qualifications you already have will often determine which course is right for you. Here’s some of the common apprentice qualifications you can earn:

LevelExperienceEducational equivalent
3IntermediateA Level
4-5HigherFoundation degree
6AdvancedBachelor’s degree
7ExpertMaster’s degree


Apprenticeship Levels & Qualifications

In some apprenticeships, you might pick up additional qualifications along the way – such as diplomas or first aid courses. If you’re still unsure about which level to go for, you could speak to a college or university providing apprenticeships in your chosen trade for more information.


Pros and cons of apprenticeships

If you’re still wondering whether or not an apprenticeship is for you, we’ve put together some of the most applicable advantages and disadvantages to this kind of program.


Benefits of apprenticeships

  • You can earn on the job – with the National Minimum Wage for apprentices’ currently starting at £4.15 – while learning the skills you need to make your apprenticeship a full-time job in the future
  • You’ll get first-hand employment experience, and develop your work ethic
  • You’ll learn from highly experienced workers within your industry
  • You’ll meet new connections and create a professional network
  • You’ll leave with a recognised qualification
  • Employers and educators will know your experience level, and will provide you with everything you need to learn
  • You might be offered full-time employment once your apprenticeship finishes – but this isn’t guaranteed
  • You won’t leave with debt from completing the course


Drawbacks of apprenticeships

  • The national apprenticeship wage is lower than that of standard workers
  • You’ll have to commit to attending at both your workplace and your educational institute
  • You might not go to university or college, which could make it difficult if you’d like to swap careers later in life
  • Sometimes it can be more difficult to find an apprenticeship than other traditional courses and qualifications


Finding An Apprenticeship

If you’re interested in completing an apprenticeship, there’s an abundance of programs to choose from out there. Pinning down and reviewing apprenticeships can seem overwhelming at first, but here’s 3 sure-fire ways to find your next career opportunity.


1. Search online

One of the easiest ways to find an apprenticeship is simply by taking a look online. You can take a look at an abundance of apprenticeships on the government website, or standard job boards like Indeed, Reed and Totaljobs. Here, you’ll be able to find out more about the courses, what’s required for them, and whether or not they’re suitable for you.


2. Speak to an education provider or agency

If you’ve decided on an apprenticeship, you can actually approach a college or university directly to find out what they have to offer. This way you can also choose where you study above all else. You can also ask education providers more about the course, and whether or not it’ll get you moving in the right direction.


3. Contact employers, agencies and recruiters directly

If you already have an idea of where you’d like to work, you can get in touch with employers directly. Plus, direct enquiries demonstrate drive and interest, which can really help you to get a foot in the door. You can also find apprenticeships through recruiters and agencies, who often benefit financially from confirming a place for you.


How to Get an Apprenticeship

Once you’ve found an apprenticeship you’re really interested in, it’s time to get everything sorted for a successful application. Apprentice applications are extremely similar to those of regular employees, but don’t forget – there’s usually plenty of competition.


1. Sort out your CV and cover letter

Firstly, you’ll need a good CV that sums up your experience to date. Make sure you include some information about yourself, your educational history, employment history (if you have one), and details about any previous work experience. You’ll also need to prepare a cover letter to summarise why you’d like to do an apprenticeship in this field, with this employer. If you’re new to CVs and cover letters, there’s plenty of online, educational and government-backed advice services to help you.


2. Make an application

While you may have everything down in detail on your CV and cover letter, most apprenticeships will require you to fill out an application form too. You’ll need to carefully answer questions in good written form and represent yourself as the perfect candidate. If you can, have someone else review your application when you’re done to highlight any areas that could do with a little more work – most applications allow you to save your progress to come back later.


3. Interview preparation

If your CV, cover letter and application get you to the interviewing stage, it’s a good idea to get in some interview prep to build your confidence and help you plan good responses. There’s plenty of ways to do this – you can look online and find mock questions to answer, or you could even ask someone to interview you a few times as practice. Again, you can find plenty of helpful resources online, from educational facilities, or even employment organisations, like the Job Centre.

Five Ways to Promote a Greener Skills Economy in 2023


This article is a result of metatalent.ai’s latest Green Skills roundtable: ‘How the Great Reshuffle Calls for a Greener Transition’, hosted on December 6th 2022. Rehan Haque, CEO of metatalent.ai, summarises the event’s findings, outlining how businesses can promote a greener skills economy in the next year and beyond.

The need to prioritise and resource a green revolution has never been greater as we move into 2023. Pressure placed by the energy crisis has led to questioning whether sufficient progress has been made to meet the growing ambitions and societal expectations of reaching a greener, net-zero economy.

Business leaders must take responsibility for pivoting their companies towards benefiting a green skills economy this year, not just as an approach to long-term net zero goals, but also to help their current workforces. Currently, the shortage of skills in the global talent pool means that adapting to new technologies and reducing business carbon footprints will be a great challenge – and one that needs addressing as soon as possible.

Here are five ways businesses and business leaders should address concerns for a green skills economy this year:


#1 Continue to prioritise work flexibility

We are witnessing a different world after the pandemic. Millions of people are leaving their jobs in search of roles with a better work-life balance, and a workplace more in line with their values. The pandemic helped us to re-evaluate priorities in life; how to look after your health and look after family, and most importantly the flexibility of where to work. It is now a key value of what people are looking for in their job. We can work anywhere, anytime, as long as the flexibility is there.

On the employer side, this has delivered a number of challenges. Primarily, finding the right talent for the job concerned, and then keeping them. In the UK alone there is an all-time high skills gap – there are a lot of jobs, but employers are struggling to find the right talent, and position themselves in line with the wants of workers.

Business leaders need to refocus more on cultivating a thriving internal work culture, emphasising internal mobility, giving opportunities to workers for their career growth, flexibility and hybrid working opportunities, and continued learning and training. The support for workers needs to be there for the future of work, and business leaders must ensure this going into 2023 in order to maintain a motivated workforce.


#2 Promote a greener workforce mindset

The UN estimates about 24 million jobs by 2030 in the renewable space, as we transition towards meeting net-zero targets. In my mind, workers across any job should be green workers. Every single decision people take from living at home to working can be tailored to support the green economy and the green environment, as it requires a united effort from 8 billion people to achieve this purpose in the first place.  

This counts not just for renewable energy workers within the cleantech space, but also for those in traditional jobs as well, such as software, IT and engineering. Changing workforce behaviours and mindsets, so that any decisions made can also be wholly considered energy-saving decisions, is important across all sectors.

Businesses will not just be focussing on the transition towards more effective technologies, such as employing the next big AI or fastest processing power, but also more energy-efficient tech to reduce their overall carbon footprint. An energy-conscious worker will prioritise this as well, and thus a greener mindset permeates throughout working decisions.

This is especially important as we approach a recession in 2023; software companies can no longer rely on a supply of funds, and thus being more selective in reducing waste costs contributes to a greener mindset overall. Letting the mindset permeate creates a new generation of workers thinking about their impact on the environment, which then bolsters business efforts to ensure they are moving in the right direction as we approach 2030.


#3 Reduce carbon emissions through migrating away from cities

Reaching a net zero economy requires significant investment. By nature, the human species is invasive – we take what we need to survive. A truly net zero society appears impossible at this stage; the real goal should be something closer to zero, not as high as today.

The real question will be where we are going to do this. For many years, the focus has been on a continuous drive towards cities. Workers move for employment and because the demands of their job require them to be on-site. This urban migration has undoubtedly led to creating environments of high carbon emissions. Balance is needed in order to start reducing them, and a contributing factor to creating this new balance would be flexibility in working locations.

The pandemic has taught us that this can be achieved. Workers can access the resources and work just as efficiently, if not more so, away from cities. In spearheading this drive away from cities and allowing flexibility of working locations – working anywhere – businesses drive the pressure away from cities towards other areas. Reduced pressure results in lower emissions, meaning a gradual step-by-step movement towards reaching net-zero targets.


#4 Support human capital with green skills training programmes

Green skills refer to the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable society. Sectors that require the most pressing emissions reductions by 2030 face the most immediate skills shortages – most notably including housing and transport. Green skills are the building blocks key to utilising human capital at its maximum potential in the new economy, and thus investing in this human capital through green skills training and support is needed.

By 2030, 80% of the current workforce will still be active, so it is imperative that workers now have access to training and upskilling tool, lest they be left behind completely as we transition towards a greener future. Business leaders should therefore be taking time to invest now


#5 Take advantage of business complexity for innovative solutions

No doubt, finding a solution that fits the demands of building a greener economy will be challenging, as there is no one common answer. The situation and scenarios differ from country to country, industry to industry. A talented workforce can navigate these scenarios as they come, but it’s up to businesses to motivate and encourage innovation when it comes to business solutions. This is not just limited to emerging technology developers, or renewable energy workers – finding ways to implement changes and curate a sustainable business model is relevant across all business sectors.

Innovation across both technology and business is needed to reduce the environmental burden across the planet. New technologies are the answer to fixing previous mistakes, but without the talent to use them they are worthless investments. Green skills alongside strong business leadership will help propel businesses in the next years towards solid, sustainable growth. Similarly, a growing awareness and carefulness towards the environment needs to start now; business leaders, we look to you to take the first step in that big change in mindset. 

National Apprenticeship Week: Supporting Apprentices In a Changing World

Happy Apprentice

Cheryl McKown, Apprenticeship Manager for Bupa Global & UK

For those looking to advance their career or learn new skills, an apprenticeship can be a great way for people to invest in their futures.

But taking on something new can come with challenges. Whether adapting to new routines, meeting new people or taking on a new role, change can be hard.

And with additional factors such as rising living costs, international instability and mental health pressures at play, employers need to be mindful of the impact on their apprentices and give appropriate support.

Here, Cheryl McKown, Apprenticeship Manager at Bupa Global & UK, advises on how managers can support their apprentices in a changing world.


Listen to your apprentices

Taking the time to check in with your apprentice, particularly when they first start, can go a long way to fostering good wellbeing. An open-door approach can help apprentices to feel psychologically safe approaching you with any needs or concerns, whether that’s about their learning or something in their personal life.

Regular appraisals or one-to-one sessions give you and your apprentice the chance to speak freely, helping you to gauge how your apprentice is doing and make any adjustments that they may need. As well as listening to them, these check-ins offer the chance to provide any constructive feedback, too.

And it may seem like a small thing, but I always find that a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ goes a long way to boosting an apprentice’s self-esteem. Feeling properly rewarded for their efforts can help boost mental wellbeing and decrease stress.


Create supportive networks

When going through a big life change, it’s helpful to chat to people who are going through similar challenges. Think about ways you can help apprentices bond and collaborate with others at their level – for example, you could create a buddy or mentor system, connecting new starters with those who have a little more experience.

If you have an intranet you could encourage them to join groups or forums, or think about arranging informal get togethers.

Employees who feel that their organisation takes an active interest in their wellbeing are more likely to stay motivated, engaged and loyal.


Adapt and flex

It’s no secret that many people are finding things more expensive at the moment, and although apprentices are investing in their futures long term, they may be facing additional cost of living pressures in the short term, which could impact their learning or ability to complete the programme.

It’s important to be mindful of these challenges, and think about how your organisation can adapt to help. For example, by signposting to government schemes that apprentices might be entitled to, or adapting working practices. Allowing working or learning from home might help with commuting costs, and it might also be possible to lend office equipment to apprentices or to provide free or subsidised food and drink. Make sure your apprentices know about the support your company can offer and how to access it.


Help with switching off 

Juggling learning and work along with a family life and other pressures can be really difficult, particularly when adapting to a new routine at the same time. So it’s really important to help your apprentices find a good work/life balance, including time to relax and recharge.

So try to instil good time management skills by working with your apprentice to plan how they’ll manage their time between learning and on-the-job tasks.

Finding the time to switch off from our busy lives – including social media – is really important to protect against things like burn out, anxiety and stress.


Provide mental health support

Providing support to your apprentices to help them maintain good physical and mental health has never been more important.

Fostering a workplace culture where everyone feels able to be open about their health is a great start, and helps support happy, healthy productive employees who will want to stick around long term.

At Bupa we encourage people to bring their full selves to work, and I believe this is one of the key reasons that our apprentice retention rates are so high: 80% of our apprentices continue to work at Bupa after their apprenticeship ends. 

You can also support your apprentice by ensuring that they’ve got access to employee wellbeing services, like Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), GP appointments or health assessments.


A partnership approach with training providers

Considering all of the above, inducting your training providers to your approach and ways of working is essential to sustaining a supportive culture for learners to thrive. By viewing them as an extension to your organisation’s team you can ensure consistent messaging and high quality service for each learner.

Transforming Employee Management, Well-Being and Motivation in a Hybrid World

Employee Experience

Research has proven that employees want hybrid working – but in a world of scarce talent and fast evolving employee expectations, the successful Future of Work demands far more than flexible employment contracts. Every employee has a unique experience of the digital workplace, so how can Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) understand each employee’s digital experience and the impact on engagement, morale, well-being, inclusion and productivity?

Dave Page, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Actual Experience, explores the new insight required to create an optimal digital employee experience.


Digital Divide

According to recent research from LACE Partners, talent attraction / retention; flexible and hybrid working; and the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) emphatically dominate HR leaders’ 2023 agendas. CHROs recognise that financial incentives alone are no longer enough to attract good people – but what are the non-monetary benefits that would boost employee retention and engagement? Despite some remnants of outdated thinking, hybrid working has become non-negotiable for employees – but businesses are still wrestling with the challenges of creating the great employee digital experience upon which hybrid working success (whether that is in the office or at home) relies.

From productivity to innovation, collaboration to isolation, companies are painfully aware that while employees want more flexibility, hybrid working is not an automatic panacea to workplace stress.  Are companies able to identify specific individuals struggling with home working environments relying on an internet connection designed for ecommerce? Do they know if employees are experiencing well-being issues as a result of isolation from colleagues due to sound or video problems on calls? Are people having to work significantly longer hours than colleagues just to keep up, as a result of digital inequality? 

Companies know that the transition to the Future of Work is not smooth, but with zero insight into the employee digital experience they are resorting to tinkering with corporate policy. How much difference will it make to reduce the number of ‘two plus’ meetings in the diary, as proposed by Spotify recently? How relevant are strategies to tackle intergenerational workplace conflict if problems are due not to divergence in attitudes and beliefs but to differences in technology usage and adoption? Right now, it is a high-risk guessing game.

Clearly it is vital to rethink culture but companies need real information to achieve a human-centric model that delivers the best employee digital experience.


Human Experience

In an increasingly digital Future of Work, it is vital that businesses can understand and measure the human experience, the subjective satisfaction employees experience in their workplace. The office- based surveys of the past, however, are no longer representative of the employee experience. When every individual has a different home/ office technology set up, experiences of productivity, satisfaction and well-being are fundamentally different. CHROs cannot create the next generation of Employee Value Proposition or define new digital working practices without a detailed understanding of what it means to each digital employee today.

Companies need to know exactly how employees are feeling about their workplace experience continuously, application-by-application, at home, in the office or on the road. Armed with this human experience insight, CHROs can rapidly identify those individuals who need immediate intervention. Would an investment in a dedicated, business quality Wi-Fi hub at home be a simple step to overcome disconnection from colleagues? Could a new broadband provider transform an individual’s experience, boost their productivity and minimise the risk of losing a great employee?

This insight requires a new C-suite partnership between CHROs and CIOs to achieve a deep and mutual understanding of the interplay of technology and human factors. Better understanding of the employee experience will provide a CIO with a clear framework for investment to create digital equity. For HR, the knowledge that every individual is digitally equal will enable the focus away from concerns about delivering hybrid working towards training, education and support. Identifying generational differences in the way employees use technology, for example, would support specific education programmes to build confidence and understanding to enable better collaboration. 



For CHROs, the quality of digital experience is set to be one of the biggest areas of differentiation when it comes to attracting talent in 2023. Employees are not going back to the office full time; they want hybrid working and they need it to provide a great experience. Those organisations that embrace and institutionalise the Future of Work and create an Employee Value Proposition that truly resonates with a digital workforce will enjoy a significant and sustainable competitive advantage as a result. 

The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling in the Australian Workforce

The skill gap is now becoming more evident and is continuing to grow across all industries in Australia. As what is termed the fourth industrial revolution is heading towards Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Machine Learning, these advancing technologies are changing the nature of jobs and skills that are required to be possessed by the employees in the Australian workforce to survive this drastically changing nature of the work environment.

According to the World Economic Forum, the rate at which technology is growing and the pace at which it is being adopted across the globe will witness a sharp acceleration over the next decade. With huge uptakes in big data corporations, eCommerce platforms, and cloud storage, upscaling digital skills will be the priority for most of the big businesses. By 2025, Australia will need an estimated 1,56,000+ digitally skilled workers to sustain and maintain the pace of growth. The rate at which tech workers are hired is astonishing due to their high-value skills. Workforce Australia services are trying to fulfill the high demand for digitally upskilled workers and employees by informing and teaching the most important and highly valued skills in today’s time as well as for the coming future.

Upskilling and Reskilling

To address the problem of a shortage of digitally trained high-value workers and employees, organizations must invest in their employees to upskill and provide them with a perfect environment for reskilling. The pandemic had made everyone realize the importance and need to accelerate the learning process. To keep up with the pace at which the world is learning new skills along with working with the ones they already possess, the government and big businesses should come forward and take responsibility and do what they can to reduce the barriers towards reskilling.

How to keep up with the World

Digital transformation is seeing exponential growth. The most critical part that can ensure success in this ever-changing generation is that you have a skilled workforce that is always ready to grab opportunities and keep pace with them. Technological transformation must be started by first mapping out the workforce so that no one is left behind.

Adaptable Training

According to the workforce population of Australia which is 13 million employees spread around 2.6 million businesses, 300,000 digital professionals is the number that the calculations come down to. Being able to produce 300,000 professionals ready with high-value digital skills that can take on the work pressure along with the pace at which the industry is growing depends on how the employees are trained. During the pandemic, the complexity of the business landscape had become essential to factor in. It gave an open view of how businesses operated and how their global supply chains were affected.

Training and learning different skills is the only way for workers and employees to fit in and respond to the rapidly advancing and constantly changing demanding nature of the market and the business environment as well. As businesses and their needs are changing, learning new skills is the only way to stay relevant and important in the workforce.

Important Skills

The pandemic accelerated growth in jobs that required skills such as mathematics, technology, and data analysis. One of the most significant changes it has brought is that repeatable jobs can now be automated and it would require significant upscaling to stay in the loop. Skills like communication, complex thinking, problem-solving, leadership, and solutions-driven are becoming increasingly important. Even technical skills such as data analysis and coding can be acquired through micro-credentials and learned through short courses as well.

Equal Access

One of the key values while solving a problem of this scale is equality. Digital courses should be developed and made available for everyone at every level starting right from the bottom to the top. There should be no bias. Bringing in a balance of free and equal access to training, courses, opportunities, and experience will help the Australian workforce to speed up.


The problem that the Australian workforce is facing here is huge in scale. It is difficult to operate through this at different levels. Collaboration is the only way forward to pick up the pace and advance through learning and upskilling to take on the world.

How House Builders Can Make Their Work More Efficient

The application of technology in construction has been fallen behind other major industries.

If new and refined systems were put in place for builders, they would be able to complete projects more efficiently. With this in mind, we’ve listed a few of the most innovative ideas to help boost your productivity if you’re working onsite in construction.

Use eCommerce to your advantage

Online shopping has transformed the retail industry for industries and consumers across the globe. However, in construction, a large proportion of builders and their companies are still required to physically travel to pick up materials and equipment.

This journey could be saved with the implementation of online delivery. Online construction merchants have essential tools, materials, and specialist roof insulation available to order, which could all be conveniently delivered. This could save you and your company a lot of time, money, fuel, and energy.

Order supplies before you need them

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, global supply chain shortages have affected just about every sector in the global economy. Consequentially, many building materials are taking much longer than normal to be delivered.

If you order your materials and products well in advance, you’ll be able to stay organised. With the right preparations, you won’t need to deal with the last-minute panic of not having the appropriate resources to finish a project.

If you’re a project manager, you can rest assured that your staff will be productive from the start of the project to the end date.

Wear the right kit

Wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment for construction is essential. If builders arrive at a site without the correct protective clothing, they wouldn’t be able to start the job without seriously risking their own health and safety.

Order all the necessary kit for your construction team to make sure that you won’t be left waiting around for the missing pieces to arrive.

Stay organised

Throughout the colder months of the year, the weather can pose a significant threat to construction project deadlines. From frozen ground preventing digging and drilling to snowfall damaging roofing jobs, there are plenty of potential disasters when it comes to winter construction.

To help you and your team start and finish a project without postponing some of the work, it’s a good idea to check the long-range weather forecast before you commit to a timeframe for a new project.

Embrace the latest technologies

Lastly, it’s no secret that builders prefer to use the tools and machines that they’ve been using since they started on the job. However, being slow to adapt to new ways of working could leave you lagging behind your competitors, particularly when it comes to profitability and efficiency. An example of this is through the use of Ecommerce and social media; a builder who can proficiently surf the web will be able to find the best deals for their building project needs and also advertise their services to a wider audience online for almost no cost.

Don’t Mind the Gap: Gap Year Careers That Can Become Full-Time Jobs

New Job

Many students across the world see a gap year as a rite of passage. Before embarking on the adventure that is a university, they take a structured year abroad and use the time to discover, reflect, and explore. It’s a popular decision amongst many UK students, with the government estimating that 200,000 and 250,000 young people take gap years each year.

If you’re thinking about taking some time for yourself, it might be helpful to know that other students typically join official programs or find appropriate jobs while on their travels. Not only does this help you expand your skill set and learn new things, but it also helps fund these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Some find relevant ‘gap year careers’ perfect for passing the time and gaining new capabilities before university, whereas others discover that their short-term employment could become long-term, whether that be instead of going to university, or circling back once the degree has been secured. Let’s explore some gap year careers that could become full-time.


Au pair

There are countless opportunities to become an au pair in all corners of the world. Perfect for students taking a gap year, this self-financing option allows you to live in a new country without spending fortunes on accommodation, food, and day-to-day living expenses.

This career path allows you to live as part of your host family, with simple responsibilities such as keeping on top of housework and looking after children. You’ll receive a room in their house, food, and a monetary allowance for your efforts.

Various skills can be gained during your time as an au pair, including flexibility, adaptability, confidence, and discipline. Once you’re settled, you may discover that this is a career you could see yourself staying in beyond your gap year. Being an au pair is a viable full-time career as it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out of families who need cost-effective help with their homes and children.


Sports coaching

If you have an interest and skills in a certain sport, become a sports coach during your gap year and, if you love it enough, you could turn it into a full-time career! Feed your passion, experience the world, and share your talent with other people.

Countries across the world are always looking for expert assistance when it comes to developing the sporting passions and competency of their natives. So, whether you’re into football, rugby, tennis, boxing, or another sport, you should be met with ample opportunities.

There are pre-existing programs that allow sports enthusiasts to begin coaching in various countries straight away, or, if you have a specific location or plan in mind, you might be able to organise your opportunities following some research.


Teach a language

Being a native English speaker is an asset you can take advantage of as a gap year traveller.

Teaching your language or learning a new one is a skill that any future employer would be delighted to see on your CV.

What starts as a gap year career could very well turn into a full-time job, too. An estimated 250,000 native English speakers work as English teachers abroad in more than 40,000 schools and language institutes. As English remains the most spoken language in the world, the demand for English teachers will always exist, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever be out of a job.

You could change locations every few years if you want to continue exploring the world, or stick to one country if you’ve fallen in love with it. The choice is all yours.


Ski instructor

There’s a reason that more and more people are fleeing to ski resorts for their gap year – not only is it a fantastic skill to learn and exercise to take part in, but it also has a booming social scene. The ultimate gap year has the best of both worlds!

Instead of being a participator, you could push yourself further and use your free time to learn to become an instructor. Gap year ski courses are not only enjoyable, but you’ll also receive a professional qualification and the ability to work in ski schools around the world. With this kind of achievement in your back pocket, no one could blame you for choosing to turn a gap year career into a full-time one.

Oh, and think about how cool your Instagram grid is going to look…


Music teacher

If you have a passion for music, it might make sense for your gap year to revolve around a music program. Appreciated globally, it’s something everyone shares in some way, regardless of location, background, or class.

A gap year music program will allow you to take your craft across the world and share your skills with like-minded individuals. Perhaps it’s singing you’re interested in, or maybe a particular instrument.

Gain a deeper cultural understanding of music and expand your geographical knowledge as you hop from location to location. If you’re not ready to end your career as a music teacher once your gap year ends, you could keep it going for as long as you want. Music is an art form that people will never tire of.


Ultimately, this time is about you

The above is not an exhaustive list of gap year careers that could become full-time– there are many more possibilities waiting for you. This time in your life is special; ultimately, it’s about doing what’s right for you. We wish you every success!