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This document is the final report of a research study looking at building the higher education workforce of the future, commissioned from PA Consulting as part of the wider HE Workforce Framework programme. The remit of the study was to:

  • analyse the longer-term future workforce requirements of the English HE sector, and the challenges for meeting them
  • provide practical advice and tools for HEIs and sector bodies to help in securing future workforce requirements.

The information gained through this research study has informed the content of the HE Workforce Framework.

The report explores the critical market developments and associated conditions for success for five major elements of the HE portfolio (primary research, research-led teaching, professional formation, research-based solutions, and specialist and niche provision).

The report also looks at the demand for staff that will arise from the different strategic approaches being adopted by HEIs, and presents the potential actions that institutions and the HE sector may want to consider in ensuring adequate matching of HE workforce capability (supply and demand) in the next 10 to 15 years.

The central message of the report is that strategic workforce management – planning ahead to ensure the right people with the right skills can work together in new ways – is central to the future of every HEI, and must be a top priority for institutional and sector leaders.

This report is one of five that supplement the HE Workforce Framework (see 'The higher education workforce framework 2010: Overview report' (HEFCE 2010/05) and 'The higher education workforce framework 2010: Main report' (HEFCE 2010/05a)). All five can be accessed via our HE Workforce Framework web-pages which also contain more information about the project.