2021: Facing the future together

By Peter Cheese, CEO

Wishing you a very happy new year.

I’m sure we’ve all welcomed the new year as a time to look ahead and put a very difficult year behind us. However, we can see that the next few months will continue to be blighted by the pandemic, but hopefully as the vaccination programmes roll out, the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel will soon become more visible.

A changing world

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the ways in which we work, how we focus on our people, support wellbeing and inclusion, and innovate and adapt can all change for the better.  The pandemic is acting as a catalyst and accelerating many trends for change which were much needed. Although the pandemic has led to much hardship and personal tragedy, it’s a real opportunity for our profession to champion better work and working lives, and to be at the forefront in transforming our organisations and our workplaces.

The start of 2021 also marked the end of the Brexit transition period, and the United Kingdom’s official exit from the European Union. How the UK’s relationship evolves with the EU and the rest of the world may also mean changes to the way some of our organisations operate, and we need to be ready. To support you with adjustments you may need to make, our dedicated hub remains the place for you to access relevant resources and information, including a new practical guide on using the new immigration system.

In adjusting to all these changes, access to skills and capabilities will be critical to organisational success. All employers need to ensure they understand all the options, have robust workforce plans and have put in place measures that ensure their future workforce requirements can be met. Retaining and developing our people, looking after their wellbeing, and fair and open cultures are vital parts of every successful business strategy, now more than ever. At the CIPD we’ve long been championing for better work and working lives, and the coming year will again be a time for us to step up. We want to continue to push the critical agendas that should be at the centre of all our thinking - inclusion and diversity, wellbeing and employee relations, skills and learning and reward and recognition. Throughout the year we’ll be launching a series of campaigns, with supporting research content and guidance. I hope you will engage with us, do look out for more information and ways to support over the coming weeks.

Growing and learning

We recognise that professional development is critical, and we’ll continue to work hard to support you. Over the coming weeks we’ll be launching our new qualifications, based on the new Profession Map we launched in 2018. As part of this work, we’ve updated and aligned our membership grades to ensure there is one for each of the four levels of impact in the new Profession Map, from Foundation to Chartered Fellow.  We’re also excited to be launching our new learning hub in the coming months. This will give you access to a wide range of content and learning in an integrated and personalisable way to better support your ongoing development, as well as connections with peers across our community.

Chartered Companions

Finally, following last year’s extended nominations process, we’re delighted to announce that we have awarded Chartered Companion status to 13 more outstanding senior people professionals. This is our highest level of recognition and being elevated to Chartered Companion reflects exceptional levels of personal contribution, support and promotion of the people profession and the CIPD. You can find out more about the 13 new Companions here. We’re now re-opening nominations until May, so if you hold a Chartered grade of membership and know of a Chartered Fellow who ought to be recognised in this way please do consider putting them forward.

I’m very proud of how we’ve all stepped up as a profession to meet the challenges of the last year. Our membership and community continue to grow, and we can face the future together with confidence in knowing we are making a real difference We look forward to supporting you all in what will undoubtedly be another extraordinary year.

Stay safe and well. 

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  • Due to Covid, by summer 2021 there will be two cohorts of students who have graduated from university or as school leavers, who have had their education disrupted. This has included difficulty gaining work experience, and difficulty finding a job. It would be good if CIPD could also champion encouraging employers to take on these young people, to kick start their entry into the workplace.