Employers may be failing to ensure their team is regularly upskilled. And their employees may pay the price with their future career…
What is upskilling (and is upskilled even a word)?!
It might sound like just another marketing buzzword. However, ‘upskilling‘ has entered the Cambridge Dictionary and is defined as “the process of learning new skills or teaching workers new skills”.
The latest findings from the City & Guilds Group (as reported by HR Review) reveal that:
- 76% of professionals feel it is important to continually refresh their skill-set. Vitally, this is stated as ‘regardless of age or career position’.
- 81% predict some degree of change in their job skills requirements within the next five years.
- Yet only 46% of people are receiving adequate training support from their employer to ensure they’re prepared for these changing needs.
- What’s more, 1/4 of respondents say they are not receiving enough feedback regarding their skills development priorities.
- Certain employee groups are less likely to be upskilled. 48% of employees aged 55 and above did not receive any skills training in 2018.
- 42% of all part-time workers additionally report the same.
Why aren’t workers being upskilled?
- It appears employers are most concerned by their staff taking time out of their usual working day (42%).
- The cost of training is also proving to be a barrier for employers (29%).
- While few individuals feel they can fund training themselves outside of work (28%).
How can you ensure you’re being upskilled?
These are concerning stats and there are some great comments regarding the importance of prioritising learning and development at work. Yet what do you do if you’re the employee and your skills haven’t been refreshed for some time?
- Where possible, use appraisals as an opportunity to ask your employer how you can keep your skills relevant to the changing needs of the organisation. This will help plant a seed and could point you in the right direction, even if the company is unable to finance training at present.
- Do your own research. Explore articles and podcasts regarding the future of your industry. See if there are any common themes or predictions.
- Use your findings to research ways to upskill at home. These don’t always have to be costly. Again, podcasts, websites and books can teach you a lot.
- Explore how a new job role could help you upskill. It may be that you’re ready for your next career step. Keep an extra close eye on any job descriptions that closely match your experience yet also offer the chance to learn something new.