Why should we be concerned about the Upskilling crisis?

Upskilling is an investment in augmenting employees' knowledge, skills, and competencies using additional training to help them advance their careers.


August 8, 2022

6 minutes read


Changing is a constant in our lives, and if we want equity in the workplace, upskilling must be a part of it.

Sustainability, equity, digital tech, gender, and climate change are the most popular terms of our time. They are also connected not only with the future of humanity but precisely with how we could live in a better and more productive society in the present.

Upskilling and reskilling are the newest to be integrated into these terms, and we must be aware of them.

It is not easy to keep the workforce updated in a constantly changing world with rapid technological progress. The feeling of uncertainty of those who apparently do not fit in a digital-skilled world could be easily cooled down as of two perspectives: human history and committed leaders.

The first shows that different professions have already become obsolete throughout history, especially after economic and political crises. After the two World Wars, the necessity of reskilling the workforce had never been seen. The third industrial revolution, amid the incorporation of women into the labour market, was one of the demands of that time. This short-time travel helps us remember that we have already gone through periods of new skills demands, which means that this isn’t an unusual issue in our society.

Secondly, committed leaders are the key to upskilling crises. As it used to be, changes remain in our present as well, although this time, they were performed by a pandemic that rocked the boundaries of workplaces worldwide.

It has become increasingly apparent that industries need to be adaptable, and their people need to be too. Business and political leaders must work together to develop training programs to assist workers who need to catch up in the digital era.


What is upskilling?

Upskilling is an investment in augmenting employees’ knowledge, skills, and competencies using additional training to help them advance their careers.

When employees are offered and encouraged to take advantage of upskilling opportunities for their professional growth, people metrics, such as employee engagement and retention, also increase.

Due to Covid-19 and the technological progress of professions, one of the biggest questions is how to equip people with the skills they need to participate in the economy. We need to design how our global economy will adjust so many unskilled digital workers to the ongoing automation.

A recent World Economic Forum research announced that 3,7 billion people around the world still lack internet access. This is a problem that needs to be resolved before we make any advancement in digital skills globally.

Furthermore, in a time of advocating gender equality, this is also one of the huge inequality issues – as we still face a gender disadvantage in accessing certain tech jobs. So, it is essential to consider the advantages of upskilling training.


Why should we talk about upskilling and reskilling?

 According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, employers expect the percentage of jobs that are no longer relevant or could be easily replaced by automation will decrease from 15.4% of the global workforce to 9%.

In most business sectors, companies claim that skills gaps are the main reason there are barriers to taking on new technologies that would grow productivity.

The research highlights that millions of people could be left behind when the industries they work in today are replaced by new sectors that require new skills.

These skills discrepancies have several human costs and could affect falling incomes and negatively impact government taxes.

The economic standard for measuring the impact of upskilling shows that there could be measurable and achievable economic growth from solving these important problems. In fact, by focusing on scalable, global upskilling, the world economy could see a potential GDP increase of $5 trillion by 2030.

Everything considered, the most important thing is that people would be equipped to participate in the economy fully, which has the prior prospective to reduce inequality and lead to greater social stability.


How could we implement upskilling?

The last two years have clearly shown that the future of work is now, and upskilling is the perfect tool for retaining and developing talent.

Unemployment is expected to rise as economies continue to suffer from the effects of the pandemic. That is why all stand to benefit from the shared vision to develop comprehensive upskilling of the workforce agendas.

The pandemic provided an opportunity to reform education systems and rethink training methods to benefit more people. To be accomplished, however, governments, industries, trade unions and education institutions will need to work together.

Learning new skills is an opportunity to increase your job fulfillment and enhance your career development. But it is also an excellent way to climb the career ladder for more responsibility, a different job title and maybe a higher salary. This can assure better prospects for you in the long term.

Undoubtedly, improving soft skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are also essential resources for a sustainable workplace.

Therefore, since our economies have become more digital, employers and political leaders have an increasing duty to give employees the chance they need to boost their skills and improve their learning experience.

They must recognize that upskilling people will benefit everyone and help employees meet the challenges of the digital age without leaving anyone behind.

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