Competence foresight in local government services

In the coming years, local government sector services will face significant challenges as large groups of their personnel reach retirement age. Foresight-based development of job descriptions and duties is one of the key instruments for responding to the challenge.

KT Local Government Employers coordinated in 2011–2014 a project to develop competence foresight practices in order to support competence management and development in the local government sector.

The project was based on an open approach that is not bound to existing professional or academic degree structures, which allowed it to cover genuinely new types of future competences and competence needs.

The role of the competence foresight needs to be strengthened

The objectives of the project were

  • to develop and document competence foresight practices that are suitable to local governments
  • to develop frameworks for the integration of competence foresight into planning processes
  • to summarise the foresight data on competence needs in the local government sector created under the framework of the project.

The project was carried out on three levels:

At the organisational level, the project developed competence foresight frameworks to serve human resource management and planning in local government organisations.

At the regional level, local government sector competence needs were linked with regional foresight activities and regional educational planning.

At the national level, long-term foresight data on competence needs in the local government sector was produced.

Frameworks for competence foresight were developed in regional pilots

The development work was carried out in four regional projects. The pilot organisations provide useful benchmarks for other organisations.

The Central Finland pilot developed a regional foresight framework for Central Finland and practices for foresight-based human resource planning for the City of Jyväskylä and the Central Finland Health Care District.

The Northern Finland pilot developed competence foresight practices for the identification of new competences required by the support service personnel of educational organisations, and created a rolling competence foresight process.

The Päijät-Häme pilot focused on the integration of competence foresight into customer-focused service design in the social and health service sector.

In the Capital Region pilot, the City of Helsinki developed competence foresight as part of its strategy work and used future mapping as a foresight tool. The City of Vantaa and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences developed a co-operation framework for deepening co-operation between the city and the university of applied sciences in developing the study programmes of students in social and health care services to better correspond with the needs of working life.

Final Report summarises the results

The Final Report has been published also in English and it summarises the results of the development work carried out under the project.

The primary target groups of the project include local governments and joint municipal authorities, as well as municipally owned companies and organisations, education providers and regional councils.

The project was mainly funded by the Finnish National Board of Education with support from the European Social Fund (ESF).


Competence foresight book cover