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We have a duty to prepare the future workforce, says Sky HRD

Large organisations have a duty to prepare and develop the workforce of the future, not just their own employees, according to Sky director of people Deborah Baker.

Speaking at the HR Director's Business Summit in Birmingham, Baker told delegates about the Sky Academy, which has ambitions to give development opportunities to one million young people by 2020.

She said: “I’m not expecting them all to join Sky – I can’t cope with one million young people – but we are getting them prepared for the world of work. [It’s our] duty to prepare the workforce of the future.”

Sky offers various opportunities to young people through the Sky Academy, from apprenticeships to work placements and graduate programmes. It has also devised its own accredited journalism diploma and has a software academy to help attract digital talent.

Baker said she wanted all training activities to have a “broad, inclusive approach”. “The lines are blurring between graduates, apprentices and [those on] work placements,” she said. “I can’t always tell the difference.”

She added that Sky has a culture of “continuous learning”. “We shouldn't forget about the talent we already have in the business,” she said. “We have that desire for constant improvement, because our organisation is all about change.”