The CIPD is inviting tenders to develop a guide for members on strategic workforce planning in the context of Brexit, drawing on case study research among 6–8 employers. The guide will help organisations make practical preparations for migration restrictions. Workforce development has been rising further up the HR agenda against the backdrop of a tightening labour market. And with the prospect of migration restrictions acting as a further potential catalyst, we believe that a workforce development guide will become even more central to the effective delivery of an organisation’s strategic objectives.  

The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have large implications for many employers, especially those in sectors that employ a high share of EU nationals, such as hospitality, healthcare, retail and construction.  The Government has stated its intention to introduce migration restrictions that will seek to attract ‘the brightest and the best’ EU nationals to the UK, which will have a particularly negative impact on unskilled or low-skilled industries. The threat of more prevalent labour and skills shortages emerging in the UK economy is thus very real.

Recent CIPD research suggests that many employers are in ‘wait and see mode’ and have yet to put in place measures to offset the future threat of labour and skills shortages.  Our members have responded positively to the policy recommendations contained in the report.  However, they have also indicated continuing strong appetite for practice support in relation to workforce development. 

The aim of the guide is to help employers develop coherent workforce development strategies, as well as highlight the business rationale and benefits of investing in such practices. The guide will also seek to provide a visual model of workforce development in a post-Brexit context.

We anticipate that the guide will involve a short review of relevant evidence, including a synthesis of existing CIPD research on the subject and current BSI standards relevant to workforce planning.  The guide should also include a model for workforce planning, detailed guidance on workforce planning activities illustrated by examples from the case studies and advice for HR leaders on building the business case. 

We welcome views on both the scope and focus of the guide, which could include:

  1. building the business case for a workforce development strategy
  2. aligning your workforce development plan and people management strategy with business strategy
  3. understanding the labour market and the competition for talent 
  4. leadership, management and high-performance working
  5. recruitment and retention
  6. employee value proposition (EVP)
  7. retention and reward
  8. auditing your workforce
  9. human capital reporting
  10. identifying future skills and labour gaps in your workforce 
  11. the implications of Brexit in relation to immigration and access to EU migrant skills
  12. training and development, with a particular focus on apprenticeships
  13. diversity/targeting under-utilised groups 
  14. job analysis, job design, redistribution and or automation of tasks
  15. analytics and governance
  16. design of a WFP Model (pictorial representation).

The tender process will place particular weight on the implications of Brexit for organisations and all content relating specifically to workforce development.

The guide will be supported by 6–8 case studies that will demonstrate approaches to post-Brexit workforce planning by large employers across a range of industries and sectors. Given the tight timeframe and the significance of the case studies, the evaluation of proposals will attach particular weight to those that demonstrate previous examples of research and can point to organisations that could provide case studies for this guide. 

We are also open to suggestions and are interested to hear your ideas for alternative approaches to undertaking this research.

Delivery of a draft CIPD guide (copyright is to be assigned to the CIPD), including an introduction, 6–8 case studies and a conclusion and employer recommendations, will be expected by Tuesday, 21 November 2017.  We will review and give feedback by 28 November and the final guide should be delivered by 20 December. A short foreword will be written by the CIPD. The guide should:

  • be written in an accessible style for the target audience – primarily HR practitioners 
  • be engaging and thought provoking and represent a range of different viewpoints and types of evidence
  • provide practical insights and present recommendations or calls to action aimed at HR professionals 
  • adhere to the CIPD’s house style regarding tone of voice, punctuation, capitalisation, use of numbers and the setting out of references  
  • include content that can be represented graphically.

Other potential outputs include CIPD events, articles, webinars and podcasts.

This project will be managed by Gerwyn Davies from the CIPD’s policy team and Ally Weeks from the CIPD HR content team. The budget will depend on the proposals submitted, but it is expected to be between £8,000 and £12,000 excluding VAT.

Please email a short proposal (i.e. up to 2 pages plus accompanying evidence) by 17.00 BST on Wednesday 20 September 2017. We will hope to respond to tender submissions by Wednesday 27 September.  If no clear-cut winner emerges, we shall invite shortlisted applicants to an interview in the week beginning 2 October – please confirm in your submission your availability on these dates for a meeting at our central London office in Victoria or a teleconference. The CIPD will not reimburse interview travel expenses.

Please confirm the following in your proposal:

  • Name(s) of project researcher(s) and, if more than one, their respective roles (e.g. literature search, writing, workshop facilitating)
  • Your area(s) of expertise – a list of publications may be submitted in evidence
  • An outline of the themes you plan to include in the guide 
  • Your approach and research method, for example the approach  for conducting case studies
  • Evidence of access to HR professionals; especially those who have worked with or have access to organisations that have an effective workforce development strategy.  We are particularly looking for organisations that have put in place or are putting in place workforce development plans following Brexit.
  • Evidence of writing for practitioner (non-academic) audiences – an example article or report may be included with your submission
  • Number of days required to deliver the work and costs, per type of activity. Please note that the CIPD does not cover overhead costs.
  • Project timetable to include a project set-up meeting, progress meetings and delivery of outputs.

Contact details for submissions and queries: Joanna Ciufo