PwC with the Government Property Agency

People and Leadership

MCA Awards Finalist 2024To support its ten-year strategy and remain competitive in the UK property industry, the Government Property Agency (GPA) needed to know it had the right skills.
The GPA is responsible for providing and managing the UK government’s office portfolio. Keeping pace with the property industry depended on an investment in upskilling and reskilling its people across the agency. And the GPA understood that a refreshed core skills framework would provide an accurate reflection of capabilities required for the future, serving as a guide for recruitment and internal development efforts.

PwC was engaged to review and redesign the GPA’s existing skills framework, including benchmarking against property industry best practices, and delivering a Skills Builder tool that would help the GPA identify and resolve its skills gaps.

The engagement required an understanding of the priorities and culture of government and the public sector, experience of the property business, and the ability to recognise the nuances of the client’s strategic skills requirements. The PwC team therefore brought together diverse backgrounds and perspectives, a multidisciplinary mix of specialisms, and experience of innovating for government and public sector clients.

A rapid, comprehensive review was conducted, to assess the GPA’s skills framework by examining the current skills and proficiency requirements for each role in the organisation’s nine specialisms. These results were then benchmarked against the skills being sought for comparable roles across the property industry, to develop a new framework, highlight the skills in greatest demand and provide a focus for upskilling activities.

By working closely with the GPA’s teams, the firm co-created an innovative approach that would suit the client’s requirements, culture and employee needs. PwC’s tailored skills taxonomy provided a unified skills language for the whole GPA, enabling it to identify the leadership capabilities needed to achieve a successful transformation. Meanwhile, the firm developed the Skills Builder tool, to assess skill levels against the framework, identify gaps, and help the GPA leadership plan its development activities.

With the framework and tool in place, the Skills and Specialisms programme then brought them to life by promoting a ‘skills first’ culture. The programme encouraged employees not only to assess their own skills with the Skills Builder tool, but also to see upskilling in a positive light. As a result, the GPA was able to demonstrate its commitment to developing its employees’ capabilities, reassure employees that career progression reflected skills and proficiencies, and encourage them to own their own learning and development journeys.
PwC delivered far more than the client’s original requirements, not only with a refreshed and industry-standard skills framework, innovative assessment tool and engagement plan, but also by enhancing a culture in which employees understand that skills are valued and recognised. Meanwhile, the GPA’s leadership now has an organisation-wide perspective, enabling it to identify and fill immediate skills gaps, and to support its talent development for the future.

View the PwC profile in the MCA Members Directory.