How do digital companies make use of the various types of initial and continuing training in order to meet the need to keep skills up to date? Analysis of the ‘companies’ strand of the French training and employee trajectory surveys (dispositif d’enquêtes sur les formations et itinéraires des salariés or Defis) reveals their willingness to make use of all skill adaptation processes.
Almost 80% of companies in the digital sector report they experience difficulties in recruiting for skilled jobs (compared with 62% on average). Thus the acquisition and renewal of skills through the recruitment process depend on the ability of higher education institutions to supply the labour market with su cient numbers of high-quality graduates as well as on the ability of companies to make themselves known and to attract new sta . However, according to the same 2016 inter-ministerial report, the number of graduates is not yet sufficient to meet requirements and the published job offers in the sector are not sfficiently attractive. The digital sector does, after all, have to deal with competition from other sectors of the economy as well as from foreign companies seeking to recruit graduates with this type of profile.
Continuing training as the key element in the adaptation of knowledge and skills
Logically, companies’ investment in the acquisition of new skills through the recruitment process carries over into their use of continuing training to update those skills. After all, a high level of skill and qualification does not necessarily mean that employees will automatically adapt to changes in work processes and products. Many digital companies adopt strategies involving frequent changes in their mode of operation (introduction of new technologies or new procedures) and the introduction of new working methods or new types of external relations (partnerships, outsourcing of activities). Thus the skills required to work in a given profession are constantly evolving and continuing training is one way of supporting employees in their efforts to adapt. It is logical, therefore, to find that more than half of the digital companies that had organised continuing training in 2014 stated that their main objective in doing so was to help their employees adapt their skills.
Like all companies that provide training, most digital companies use classes and courses (82%) and work-based training (61%). Nevertheless, many more of them use other types of training. About half of them declare that they also make use of self-directed training, participation in lectures and seminars and e-learning, compared with just one quarter of companies in the economy as a whole. On-line training courses (MOOCs) are very successful, notably because of their ease of access and the fact that they are free of charge. The act of 5 March 2014 and the introduction of personal training accounts (“compte personnel de formation”) have accentuated this phenomenon since completion of these training programmes now increasingly leads to certi cation. In general terms, the acquisition of knowledge and know-how takes place in the course of these firms’ day-to-day operations and collective work practices: 86% of employees state that their work involves constant learning. The training specialities re ect the specific characteristics of the digital sector.
Thus 81% of digital companies financed training in IT and office automation in 2014 (compared with 49% on average) in order to update employees’ skills in the use of tools that are constantly evolving. 44% nanced foreign language training (compared with 21% on average) in order to meet the demands of a very English-speaking market and 46% financed management training (compared with 32% on average) in order to meet the considerable need for managerial staff in rapidly expanding companies.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Adapting skills: a challenge digital companies have to meet