Integration Blueprint: Mapping, Prioritising, and Implementing Solutions for the Employability and Skills Sector

By: Damien Posterino, Head of Sales, Earlybird

19th March 2024 [Edited: 10th April 2024]

Damien Posterino, Head of Sales, Earlybird

Over the past year, discussions surrounding the incorporation of AI tools and technologies in the employability and skills sector in the UK have surged. Membership bodies such as ERSA and the IEP have actively engaged in this dialogue, recognising the potential transformative impact of AI on service delivery within the sector.


Organisations who deliver support services find themselves at various stages of their AI journey – some are deeply immersed in research, others are strategically formulating plans, and a few are already at the forefront, piloting innovative AI products like Earlybird. However, the key to successful integration lies in ensuring that these endeavours are driven by specific challenges faced by the organisation rather than merely adopting AI for the sake of technological advancement.


I recommend a 3 stage approach to identifying your business challenges and rolling out a solution:


1. Organisational audit

Spend dedicated time to review and map the business to identify where all the current business challenges lie. Be sure to get diversity of both voices and areas of the business including frontline team members, managers and senior leadership as challenges manifest themselves in different ways up and down reporting lines. It is incredible how many times people on the frontline can identify the reason for a business challenge that is being asked around the board table. This audit should provide a map of challenges across the organisation but this is not where the process stops.


2. Prioritise challenges

The next step is to review your map to prioritise these challenges and decide which fires need to be put out first. This is an opportunity to look at your organisation’s overarching strategy and objectives and see which challenges are impacting those. Consider in particular the commercial impact that the challenge is making to business performance and see if you can turn that into a number. For example, this could be lost or delayed revenue due to inefficiencies or the cost of recruitment and training new staff if the challenge is impacting staff turnover. This will be important if you need to build a business case and ask your CFO or FD for money to fix the problem. There are various frameworks that exist to support businesses to prioritise, for example the Eisenhower Matrix, the Value vs Effort matrix etc. You’ll need to implement one that best aligns with your business and preferred working style.


3. Look at solutions

Once you have prioritised and decided it’s an important business challenge that needs to be fixed, it’s time to explore solutions. The important thing to remember is that AI won’t necessarily be the solution to the problem. Some tips for finding a solution:


  • Speak to trusted organisations who focus on solving problems like the ones you are facing (we have a friendly team at Earlybird who are always happy to chat about innovative solutions)
  • Hire a consultant to review the market and advise you
  • Put out a tender inviting organisations to bid to solve the challenges your business is facing
  • Conduct your own research to explore existing solutions that you can buy and implement that solve your organisation’s challenges


In conclusion, the ongoing AI conversation within the employability and skills sector is not merely about adopting cutting-edge technologies. The key lies in identifying all your challenges, prioritising them, and then leveraging AI as a tool for transformative change where appropriate to do so.


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