Technology, business, and the global economy have never been static. New developments and trends are constantly emerging, and others are falling by the wayside. This means that training must also be dynamic to account for the needs and realities of an ever-changing world, and new data suggests that this need is considerable for today’s workers and those responsible for training them.
Widespread Need for Upskilling
According to a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report, half of all employees globally will need to upskill or reskill by 2025 due to the rise of automation and new technologies. “The profound effects of technological progress on the world economy, taken together with globalization and demographic change, have led to a pressing societal problem: how to equip people with the skills they need to participate in the economy – now and in the future,” the report states. “Governments, businesses and educational institutions are not currently helping people acquire the skills they need to succeed. Millions of people are already being left behind because of volatile market conditions, the effects of COVID-19, or because they work in industries that are being replaced by new sectors.”
Why Upskilling Is a Must-Do
There are many examples of how a skills gap can hamstring businesses striving to become or remain competitive in the increasingly advanced and complex global economy:
- New technologies emerge as industry standards for automation, artificial intelligence, or other technology. Organizations find that their current employees lack the knowledge or experience required to use those technologies effectively.
- Changing societal and environmental realities require a business to shift from one suite of tools and practices to another, but an organization lacks employees who are experienced in those alternative strategies.
- An increasingly global and remote workforce requires the use of more effective and efficient telecommunications tools, but an organization’s staff is not trained in using those tools effectively.
- Changing consumer tastes require a shift in what goods and services customers demand and how they are delivered.
The shifting skills needs for the global workforce is due to broad and large-scale shifts in society, economies, governments, and technologies.
The WEF’s “call to action” for governments, businesses, and education providers is to take deliberate and concrete steps to address this skills gap. For the business sector, the logical focus is squarely on corporate training departments and HR teams to work to close the gaps that exist in their organizations.