Meeting business needs through workforce planning
A Foreign & Commonwealth Office case study

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Page 5: Developing people

Building skills and competencies

Having appointed staff, FCO believes it is important that they are provided with the opportunity to reach their full potential. Staff development involves building the competences and skills of individuals within the workplace.

The FCO provides many opportunities for staff development. These include:

  • training staff may attend courses or undertake a form of self-study
  • personal development this may be through a coaching or mentoring programme designed to increase the confidence and capabilities of individual members of staff
  • secondment or shadowing this enables individuals to find out about new areas of work and responsibilities.

The FCO encourages its staff to make full use of these development opportunities.

Its approach to diversity provides the appropriate support to individuals from different backgrounds and to those staff with disabilities. The aim is to give people the skills and confidence to take responsibility for their careers.

Job progression

The opportunity to move jobs and switch roles provides staff with a broad range of skills and experiences. This benefits the FCO. It also enables staff to manage their own path within the organisation and to further their careers through promotion.

James Berry has benefited from this approach to career development. James is now Deputy Head of the Overseas Learning and Development Team. 'The modern FCO is set up in such as way as to equip its staff with relevant, transferable skills. I genuinely feel that the organisation is committed to investing in my future.'

Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Meeting business needs through workforce planning