Comprehensive Review: Workforce Development

May 20, 2015

“To empower Bermudians, provide a more coordinated service for job seekers, and improve efficiency and effectiveness” the Department of Workforce Development engaged the services of an independent management to “conduct a comprehensive review of its operations,” Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said today [May 20] in the Senate.

The Minister said, “The Government of Bermuda is committed to ensuring a trained and job-ready workforce to reduce unemployment rates and to provide a service model that will promote sustainable employment.

“To empower Bermudians, provide a more coordinated service for job seekers, and improve efficiency and effectiveness, the Department of Workforce Development, Career Development Section engaged the services of an independent management firm, namely, Expertise Limited, to conduct a comprehensive review of its operations.

“The goal of the review was to design a best practice model that would lead to greater effectiveness and a more rewarding experience for the customer. Ultimately, this allows for increased measurement and reporting of Key Performance Indicators to stakeholders.

“Expertise Limited, a premier Human and Business Resource service provider, completed this review with a multi-phased approach. Phase one sought to understand the current process and systems, phase two, to document the processes as they existed, and phase three, to create a detailed best model approach for enhanced service delivery.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, the Government of Bermuda is committed to ensuring a trained and job-ready workforce to reduce unemployment rates and to provide a service model that will promote sustainable employment.

The groundwork began last year with the release of Part One of the National Training Plan, which provides a vision for strengthening the workforce, and an informed national perspective on industry trends, forecasts, and strategies for ensuring continued growth and development of Bermudians. The strategies are of public and private good; valuable both to individuals and the country as a whole.

Madam President, we recognize that we must concentrate equal efforts to ensure individual good as we seek to create national benefit. This has necessitated a shift in the Department of Workforce Development’s service delivery model, specifically the Career Development Section.

To empower Bermudians, provide a more coordinated service for job seekers, and improve efficiency and effectiveness, the Department of Workforce Development, Career Development Section engaged the services of an independent management firm, namely, Expertise Limited, to conduct a comprehensive review of its operations.

The goal of the review was to design a best practice model that would lead to greater effectiveness and a more rewarding experience for the customer. Ultimately, this allows for increased measurement and reporting of Key Performance Indicators to stakeholders.

Madam President, Expertise Limited, a premier Human and Business Resource service provider, completed this review with a multi-phased approach. Phase one sought to understand the current process and systems, phase two, to document the processes as they existed, and phase three, to create a detailed best model approach for enhanced service delivery.

Madam President, I am pleased to report that the review and proposed policy and procedures, which commenced in May of 2014 have been completed and approved by the appointed Steering Committee, representative of key stakeholders throughout Government. The Steering Committee consisted of Workforce Development’s Management Team, Department of Human Resources, E-Government Business Analysts as well as the Bermuda Public Service Union.

The process was thorough and entailed:

  • Work shadowing of Department staff; measuring time dedicated towards specific tasks, quality of services, client experience and effectiveness of career development services.
  • Suggestions for process improvement; swim lane diagrams and detailed narrative descriptions.
  • Designing a model with existing staffing levels, aligning with the Career and Information Development System [CIDS], the Career Development Section’s database system, and the Bermuda Job Board.
  • Review of the Summer Employment Program; and
  • Meeting with several stakeholder Departments [i.e. Immigration, Financial Assistance] to create working synergy and Service Level Agreements.

Madam President, the scope of the evaluation focused on improved and enhanced services for Bermudians. To ensure that services are designed to meet the needs of customers, a client satisfaction survey was included to influence operational management. The Client Satisfaction Survey conducted in June and July 2014 assessed satisfaction levels for the Department of Workforce Development. Additionally, the support of the Department of Statistics was enlisted to design an online questionnaire which was forwarded via email to clients of the Department.

Madam President, a total of 147 respondents completed the questionnaire which provided very useful feedback. The survey highlighted areas where the Department is doing well, with respondents generally satisfied with the information and resources provided. Areas for improvement and efficiency were also highlighted, particularly for a more structured experience, by providing scheduled appointments to maximize an individual’s visit to the Department. The quantitative and qualitative data gathered was most constructive and invaluable.

Madam President, I believe the service realignment will result in Bermudians equipped with Career and Labour Market Information to make informed decisions about their life direction. Individuals will come to value and recognize the sustainability that developing careers creates.

Madam President, this signifies a new direction for the Career Development Section.

I would also like to focus your attention on the most significant enhancements of the detailed policy and procedure narrative that members of the public, clients of the Department, and employers should expect upon full implementation.

To that end, Career Development will entail:

  • An Orientation to Services;
  • Clear and distinct intake processes, to improve customer service levels and minimize wait time;
  • Scheduled appointments with Career Development Officers to improve efficiency and maximize client interaction with the Department;
  • Comprehensive Career and Skills Assessment to identify personal strengths, interests, aptitude, and areas for development;
  • Identification of Employment Barriers to provide adequate support, address challenges, and resource community support services to increase employability and promote job retention;
  • A defined Career Development Process of [1] assessment, [2] exploration of careers and employment opportunities, [3] career guidance, [4] informed choice, [5] training, and [6] deliberate action planning to achieve employment goals;
  • Empowerment and gradual self-sufficiency;
  • Targeted job search support and referral;
  • A monthly staple of In-House Employability and Soft Skills training;
  • Universal access to Labor Market Information;
  • Applicant screening, referral and access to job ready candidates;
  • Employment assistance services for anticipated lay-offs and redundancies;
  • Facilities for on-site recruitment, interviews, training, and workshops; and
  • Employment intervention and retention services.

Madam President, over the course of the last two months extensive training was provided by Expertise Ltd. to facilitate full implementation of the new policies and procedures for the Career Development Section. The Career Development Team participated in both group and individual training sessions during this timeframe. The enhancements were fully implemented in April.

Madam President, the population of individuals utilizing the Department has become increasingly diverse, across a broad section of industries and qualifications. It is important to note that Career Development is a lifelong process of managing and engaging in learning and work.

The quality of the Career Development process directly influences the quality of lives, individuals’ sense of purpose, attainable income, and the economic and social contribution an individual makes to the community and society they are a part of. We believe this process and paradigm shift from “getting a job to developing a career” will be crucial to economic and personal empowerment.

We recognize the cost of living in Bermuda dictates an immediate need for individuals to formulate short-term employment goals. However, in tandem we want to foster and encourage long-term and sustainable employment goals.

Madam President, the Department of Workforce Development has prepared its Career Development Team to align itself with the implementation of the National Training Plan. I am pleased to inform you that Career Development Officers have, during this time period, also successfully completed Career Development Facilitator Training. They are currently pursuing their Global Career Development Facilitator Certification, a nationally recognized credential for Career Development professionals.

It is our hope that this will provide a better service for the unemployed, underemployed and career changers. While this Government has set many projects in motion to realize job opportunities, we want to ensure sustainability and stability for all Bermudians.

Thank you Madam President

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Comments (3)

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  1. Uhhhh says:

    Good initiative…but really! Should be using “Noexpertise”

  2. Quid pro quo says:

    While I completely agree that the Department of Workforce Development desperately needed an overhaul, I am not certain that Expertise was the most appropriate entity to objectively oversee this? If I am not mistaken, they get paid handsome fees to process a high volume of work permits for their clients and also to place “the best” candidates in a wide range of roles for their clients. Is there a conflict of interest here? Possibly. I know that myself and a few others have registered on their website for years and never received a call from them (yes, we are Bermudians with degrees). From the outside, it just looks a bit odd that a company which gets paid to fill positions and has their own independent candidate database has this much influence on this process.

  3. Full moon in Paradise says:

    Agreed- ‘ great initiative’. Long overdue! Hopefully, the employees will rise to the occasion. If it works as intended, Bermudians should no longer be relegated to second class citizens in their own country. Execution is key!