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Upskilling and reskilling: the keys to future success

Propulsion Academy is an EdTech startup based in Zurich. In this blog, they explore how supporting and developing new skills for employees ensures long-term employability and success.

The need for upskilling

In a recent survey from PwC with 22,000 adults in 11 countries, 53% of respondents said they believe automation will significantly change or even make their job obsolete within the next 10 years.

Nevertheless, the majority with 61% of the respondents, were positive about the impact technology will have on their work. 77% of people said they would learn new skills now or completely retrain to ensure their future employability. 

For many people, upskilling and reskilling means learning how to code and leveraging technologies, like they do in our intensive Data Science and Web Development bootcamps. For others, especially for managers, it’s more about understanding what technology can do and learning how to work with or leading a tech team.

The benefits of upskilling for everyone

There are many benefits for employees, but also for companies, if they start upskilling employees. 

  1. Employee retention

Engaged employees want to learn and have the support of their company to encourage active learning. 

Upskilling and retraining your current workforce will prevent skills from becoming redundant and reduce costs associated with turnover. 

  1. Higher motivation

It’s proven that teams with various learning and development opportunities have higher workplace morale. Not only will employees feel more comfortable in their working environment, but it will also encourage them to feel happier in their roles and have a more positive outlook on their future within the company. 

  1. Greater talent acquisition

Providing opportunities to upskill will help to establish brand image within the market. By supporting your employee’s learning and development, you will empower employees to be strong brand advocates for your company. This is also an attractive feature for highly-qualified applicants with extensive skills and experience.

How do you upskill your current workforce?

Analyse current situations and identify missing skills: 

Companies should run strategic workforce simulations to identify mid and long-term talent gaps. Classify current skills needed for different jobs within the company and map them against future ones. Doing this will allow the opportunity to assess what kind of upskilling employees need. 

Choose the right programmes and courses:

After analysing the current situation and future needs, develop learning interventions to bridge the gaps. Added to this, you can customise best-practice learning methods to individual employees through resources like personalised learning platforms.

Individual training: 

For employees that need to learn specific skills, companies should find the right training. Take time to research courses on everything from courses on Python Programming, Artificial Intelligence or Machine learning to equip employees with the specific skills they need to succeed in their role. 

Internal training: 

Explore company-wide programmes or tailored group training that can be organised internally. Think about workshops for managers covering topics like Artificial Intelligence and to learn how to lead or work with a Data Science team. This helps to better manage and understand the role of developers within teams.

Establish a learning culture:

Training and development programmes have more chance of success if management promotes a learning culture and if the right incentives are in place for employees to learn. Best-in-class companies encourage employees to adopt a continuous-growth mindset and to learn on the job. This  provides opportunities for people to take time off for learning (ex: flexible time schedule or reducing workload to do a part-time programme or an unpaid leave to do a 3-month bootcamp). It is important for managers to embrace this approach and act as training coaches to employees.

Implications on the EdTech market

Education is one of the world’s single largest industries, making up more than 6% of GDP. It is expected that total global expenditure from governments, companies, and consumers together will reach $7.3T by 2025. Based on a global education and expenditure study by the Wittgenstein Centre, there will be 2 billion more school, college, university and further education graduates in the world by 2050.

Source: 10 charts that explain the Global Education Technology market – HolonIQ

The future workplace

There is no way around upskilling at both the individual and company-level. Technology will change the way we work and subsequently the skills we need. 

Daniela Meier is CMO of Propulsion Academy