BAE looks to skills framework as outsourcing changes staff roles

BAE Systems is preparing to use an industry-standard skills framework to identify and plug gaps in the skills of 450 IT staff charged with managing the company’s relationship with its outsourcing suppliers, following a period of substantial management change at the group.

BAE Systems is preparing to use an industry-standard skills framework to identify and plug gaps in the skills of 450 IT staff charged with managing the company’s relationship with its outsourcing suppliers, following a period of substantial management change at the group.

The aerospace and defence company, which outsources its IT systems to CSC and other suppliers, is poised to roll out the Skills Framework for the Information Age over the next year as part of a programme to improve the way it manages and develops the skills of its IT staff.

Chris Coupland, director of IT and e-business at BAE Systems, said the company decided in February to roll out the framework after recognising that it needed to improve the skills development of IT professionals retained in-house after outsourcing.

“We realised our retained IT staff had not necessarily had as much career development and career change as they should,” he said.

Implementing the framework will allow BAE to develop and train its IT staff more effectively, and will help increase the job satisfaction of its IT staff, said Coupland.

It will also help the firm ensure that staff have the skills to manage the outsourcing agreements effectively, and help identify any gaps.

“We have changed quite a lot of the scope of what we should be doing as an internal, retained IT organisation in the context of our outsourcing arrangement. That means that there are areas in terms of business requirements, strategy and architecture, and commercial skills where we are looking to extend and build capability,” he said.

The company is halfway through a project to assess the skills of its IT staff against the framework, which is designed to define different roles within the company against a set of standard skills definitions.

Coupland said the management time and effort involved in rolling out the framework would pay for itself by improving the career development of staff and raising job satisfaction levels.

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