We must equip young people with the skills needed for workplace success.

For many years now, businesses have been working with schools and universities to offer pupils insights into the world of work and opportunities to develop practical skills and knowledge. But in a fast-changing world, we must all do more to develop and nurture the people who will lead our organisations in the future.

It’s a well-rehearsed theme but, if anything, the pace of change across the business world is accelerating. We’re riding a conveyor belt of new technologies and facing rising levels of competition from all corners of the globe. At the same time, consumers enjoy more choice and are better informed than ever before.

Amidst all this uncertainty, a new breed of leader is needed to steer our organisations to success. It’s no longer about ‘I tell and you do’. Persuasion and influence are the new order of the day.

The best leaders won’t see themselves at the top of the pyramid, but at the centre of a circle where their job is to guide, challenge and support.

What values and skills are we looking for at Sky?

For tomorrow’s leaders, specific academic or technical knowledge will increasingly only be part of the picture.

When we look for future leaders at Sky, we also want to see broader skills. Top of our list is the appetite and ability to work as part of a team. Beyond that, we look for individuals who are adaptable and willing to take risks, while at the same time being able to learn from mistakes. Finally, we want people who are committed to continuing to learn new skills and to supporting the development of others.

I’m always struck by the ambition and enthusiasm of young people that join our graduate trainee scheme at Sky. However, too many students still leave school and university without the broader skills that businesses like ours need. For example, too many are focused on individual success rather than true teamwork, and lack the sense of responsibility that goes with working.

Of course, no business should expect to recruit the finished article straight out of school or university. Education doesn’t stop when you start work and we have to ensure that our organisations are learning and teaching institutions, where people can carry on developing new and existing skills.

Our goal should be work with the education system to equip young people with the values and skills they need to set them up for success in the workplace. By working together, we can help them to enjoy more fulfilling careers – and, in so doing, ensure we develop those individuals best placed to lead our organisations to sustainable success.

More information

To find out more about working for Sky watch this video on their corporate website: 10 reasons why Sky is a great place to work.