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Debate: Unprecedented challenges facing HR

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Photo: CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese chaired a debate on the Future of HR at Glyndŵr University

June 2, 2015

Employers are facing unprecedented challenges posed by a discerning workforce connected to the world of social media.

That was the message from a panel debate on the Future of HR chaired by Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), at Glyndŵr University.

HR professionals from across the region attended the event in Wrexham, which also featured Perry Timms, director of People and Transformational HR, employment law specialist Mark Leach, partner at Weightmans LLP and Glyndŵr University’s Carrie Foster and Peter Gibbs.

The lively debate covered the topics of flexible working and how the internet has shifted power to the workforce, helping them decide whether they want to work for an employer based on the wealth of public information available through Twitter, Facebook and websites such as glassdoor.co.uk.

Speaking to attendees, Peter Cheese said: “I don’t think there’s ever been a more important or interesting time to be involved in HR.

“The industry is facing new challenges as existing ones threaten to escalate, such as how we deal with an ageing workforce and the issues around productivity which we currently have in the UK.”

Peter revealed how the biggest growth in the workforce over the last 10 years has been the over 50s, as more people are working longer for a number of reasons.

“The future of HR is rich and rewarding but we have some significant things to address,” he added.

Professor Graham Upton, Interim Vice-Chancellor at Glyndŵr University, said: “We see ourselves as having a very important role to play in terms of understanding and engaging with businesses. This is key to our mission in both an educational and social context within North Wales.”

The event was part of Glyndŵr University’s inbusiness programme which intends to connect academia with industry.

Professor Chris Jones, head of Glyndŵr University’s business school, said: “We are keen to cement ourselves as a hub for HR within this region.

"As a business school, we’ve gone through radical change recently and we’re building a core of lecturing staff who are all practitioners with industry. This is essential to producing graduates who can enter the business world as fully prepared as possible.”

Glyndŵr University is offering two different routes for its revamped MA HRM course from this September, via distance learning or blended learning.

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