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Keeping your eye on your profession and industry is crucial if you don’t want to get left behind not just for yourself but for your team. Imagine if the traditional secretaries using typewriters had ignored the technological developments of word processors and then computers.

Well, it just wouldn’t have happened as Employers upgrade their systems they must also upgrade the knowledge and skills of their staff but as I mentioned in a previous blog for 1.1 of unit 300 ML9, you should never sit back and wait for others to take responsibility for your own learning and development.

We will take a look at some of the popular trends that influence the need for professional development.


As in my example above, technology is a huge part of our lives both personally and professionally and I can’t think of an industry in which technology doesn’t play a part. As technology progresses so must we if we want to keep up with the times and of course the competition.


If you don’t keep your eye on the competition then what you thought was your niche unique selling point will very quickly disappear. Competitors are useful in that they can give us hints about the way the Market is going and this of course is driven significantly by consumer needs and demands. Be careful here though as competitors don’t always get it right and so I would never advise this as an essential factor to influence your decisions on professional development but simply to keep an eye on whats happening and consider its impact on your development needs.

The Market

We are all driven by this whether it be essential needs or luxury wants. Knowing the market can drive an organisation into different directions and this in turn could impact on workforce composition giving either opportunities for progression or diversifying skills. There are those industries that you may feel are untouchable such food and energy. I remember once being told by an owner of a funeral director that it was the safest most reliable of businesses because demand would never cease. But even this industry is changing with many now opting for a ‘no funeral’ service. Quick, affordable, no fuss service and although I cant see the undertaker profession ‘dying’ off I can see how this new option could impact on them. Going back to energy this has become a huge area of interest particularly around climate change and the environment. Look at how some of the big companies are now employing and training whole departments dedicated to meeting their targets on reaching net-zero carbon emissions.


Most legislation passes with little notice or impact or even awareness but sometimes significant changes call for training. The new data protection regulations come to mind but if you think back over time there have been many changes in Legislation that have had an impact on organisations requiring training of staff. Health and Safety was and still is an important part of inductions and ongoing awareness. Safeguarding of vulnerable people requires regular updates on training.

I’m going to throw a little spanner in here to make us think about this criteria in a different way. Technology can and indeed has removed the need for a lot of what were Human positions. Human Pot washers replaced by mechanical dishwashers, till operators reduced in number by self service tills and online food delivery services. Even some receptionist positions are now replaced by signing in on a tablet. We no longer need to call switchboards, we are sent on a journey of automated telephone choices (press one, press hash) – now this particular technology advancement I would certainly throw on the bonfire! Huge numbers of factory workers replaced by robots.

Its mind boggling to think about the trends and developments that have had such a massive impact on the workforce but with this in mind we really should think about the future and whats happening and what that might mean for us. Sometimes its not going to be about simply learning a new piece of software, its going to mean re-training for a different role or different profession.

We all know that we are as a population now living longer and so with this in mind what does that mean for the social care industry? I can tell you now from my experience of teaching this sector that the care service sector is ‘booming’! Not well paid I might add but still booming.

Now think about the growth of online shopping and amazon. What impact has this had on our high streets? My home town used to have a thriving town centre with some very popular streets for shopping. It is now looking like a sorry abandonment of retail units up for let, the main department stores now gone joining the rest of them ‘online.

What happens to all these highly skilled and experienced workers?

They adapt, retrain, adopt new professions and the best way to do this is to examine the environment, consider what is happening to market trends and technology, what is becoming important and most important – get ready for it.

Learners: If you are undertaking the Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Management this post will assist with the following criteria:

Unit 300 ML9 1.2 Identify trends and developments that influence the need for professional development