UpSkilling is Here to Stay

Rapid technology change is causing a lot of disruption in the job market. No news there. It’s been going on for years, just not quite as fast as it is now. Also, the nature of the change going on – advanced data analysis, artificial intelligence, blockchain and others - is more disruptive. One of the reactions in the past has been to recognize that some people need retraining to be able to function in the new job market. But overall, companies have been quite sporadic in applying this principle.

In recent years, corporate management have been pointing out that many of their employees lack necessary skills as new technologies are implemented. And a common refrain has been that at the same time some people are unemployed, companies cannot fill certain jobs because they cannot find people with the necessary skills. Clearly there is a mismatch.

Some forward-thinking companies have been implementing a more comprehensive and positive approach to the problem – upskilling. This is a corporate strategy involving a range of departments, from HR to Finance including in various ways most of the operational areas of the company. It involves looking forward to the changes coming up in the company, and analyzing the workforce to determine which people are likely to be most affected and how. Then efforts are made to provide them with the training to hold their existing job (reskilling) or to get another, perhaps better, job (upskilling).

Implementation of an upskilling strategy is a significant undertaking. PwC has a good section on their website about it and has published a report on the subject as well.

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