BAE skills audit to create career opportunities

Defence and aerospace company BAE Systems is using software to undertake an internal skills audit of its IT staff in an initiative designed to help it use IT personnel more efficiently.

Defence and aerospace company BAE Systems is using software to undertake an internal skills audit of its IT staff in an initiative designed to help it use IT personnel more efficiently.

BAE is using a tool called Infobasis Enterprise Skills Infrastructure (ESI), a web-based system that will help to categorise and manage the skills among BAE's IT workforce.

The project grew out of a small pilot in March, and was rolled out last week to cover a focus group of 150 employees. At the end of November BAE will expand it to cover 500 UK employees across 20 UK sites.

Using ESI, BAE will audit its internal IT skills against the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). The skills framework  provides a common reference model for identifying IT skills and has been adopted by a number of large organisations, including the Ministry of Defence.

Previously, BAE grouped its IT employees with either engineers or project managers, which made it difficult to gauge its internal levels of expertise.

Adrian Fallows, project manager at BAE Systems, said, "The company benefits by having the right people doing the right job with the right capabilities, and lower recruitment costs, based on a belief that our attrition rates would be lower as morale increases.

"It is important to us to ensure that our IT staff have a clearly defined career path and are aware of the professional requirements they are expected to meet. Using the new system people will feel better utilised, and have greater job satisfaction. They will have a skills development profile, with focused training and a clear opportunity to enhance their career."

Another driver behind BAE adopting ESI was that the MoD - one of its supplier partners - had already put SFIA into place to define the roles of its IT staff, and was starting to frame its skill requirements from BAE around the framework, said Fallows.

BAE is considering rolling out Infobasis ESI to cover staff in other countries, particularly North America.

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