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Development centres help identify future leaders at the LSC

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) are using development centres to help identify and develop its next generation of leaders – and saving money in the process.

"The cost of externally recruiting a senior manager can be as much as £35,000," said Steve Lewitt, the LSC’s Director of Organisation Development. "We’ve developed a process that is enabling us to fill more of our top executive director posts through internal promotions. This is saving us money and it is also sending a very positive message that we take the development of our employees seriously."

The LSC worked with assessment provider PSL on the project. PSL first analysed the executive director role with the aim of determining the key competencies and skills required. It then ran seven development centres nationwide for 40 directors who were identified as having the potential to become future leaders.

The two-day development centres featured a range of in-tray exercises, written exercises, group exercises, discussions and presentations. PSL psychologists observed the delegates’ behaviour, provided one-to-one feedback and helped each individual to create a personal development plan.

As a result of the development centres, the LSC identified a talent pool of 30 individuals who they believe are capable of making the move to executive level.

The LSC now plans to run development centres for the next level in the organisation: heads of department and managers who are looking to move up to director roles.

"Development centres are a resource-intensive exercise and they have confirmed to us that we have a substantial pool of talent within the organisation," said Steve Lewitt. "PSL have considerable experience in running development centres and their expertise and advice proved extremely helpful."

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