Employment expertise has been a part of Thales’ social practices for several years now. In 2006, the social partners adopted an agreement on the anticipation of employment changes, professional development and training, which is currently being renegotiated. Three years later, in 2009, the group takes this approach to the European level and signs an agreement on Improving professional Development through Effective Anticipation (IDEA, see our dispatch No. 090629). The text provides for an annual anticipation procedure where employee representatives are involved with possible employment changes. While negotiating an agreement is a complicated, consensual, collective exercise, the operational implementation of change is equally, if not more, complicated. What is really difficult is mostly defining and implementing an approach that is pragmatic and useful for all – management, social partners, employees. In most businesses, employment expertise is done through the introduction of trades observatories. However, to have a truly prospective dimension, these observatories cannot be tied to the company’s strategy, which implies a high level of involvement from the management with the human resources teams.
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