COVID-19 has impacted work in unprecedented ways, with 30 million American adults reporting having lost their jobs or businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. As the U.S. economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, upskilling programs — defined as training or education that teaches new skills or advances or upgrades existing skills — present a compelling opportunity for workers and businesses. Upskilling can be an opportunity for displaced workers to move into other careers, and potentially for businesses to attract employees during the current hiring crunch. To better understand this opportunity and assess the impact of upskilling on workers’ lives and careers, Amazon commissioned Gallup to conduct the most comprehensive study to date on upskilling — The American Upskilling Study: Empowering Workers for the Jobs of Tomorrow.
In June 2021, Gallup surveyed more than 15,000 U.S. adults who are either employed or in the labor force (i.e., not currently employed but have plans to return to work) and asked them about their interest in and experiences with upskilling. More than half of these workers (57%) say they are “extremely” or “very” interested in participating in an upskilling program, while modestly fewer (52%) report having participated in an upskilling program in the past 12 months. Of those interested in upskilling programs, 63% say that the motivation for doing so is to advance their careers.
Participation in upskilling is particularly high for Black workers, with 64% having done so in the past 12 months, followed by 63% of Hispanic workers. Asian workers (51%) are substantially less likely to have attended an upskilling program in the past year, while White workers are among the least likely to have done so, with about half (46%) saying they have.
The data reveal that U.S. workers and their employers receive clear benefits from upskilling programs, including an additional 8.6% in annual income (about $8,000 on average) for workers, promotion opportunities, higher job satisfaction, greater retention and an increased standard of living. Workers say they have a very high interest in employer-provided upskilling, primarily to help advance their careers, but it is a demand their employers are only partially meeting.
As for the types of upskilling programs workers are most interested in, upskilling opportunities provided by their employer and held during work hours are most preferred, as they help workers overcome the two main barriers to upskilling that this survey revealed: workers’ lack of time and money. These preferences are reflected in the types of programs participated in most by workers over the past 12 months — 36% of survey respondents participated in employer-provided upskilling programs, compared to 21% who participated in a program they sought out on their own.
For employers, there are also clear benefits in providing upskilling opportunities related to attracting new employees. Sixty-five percent of workers say the opportunity to participate in an upskilling program is an “extremely” or “very” important factor in deciding whether to take a new job, and 61% cite it as “extremely” or “very” important when weighing the decision to remain at their current job.
Unfortunately, the research also revealed that upskilling opportunities are disproportionately offered to the highest-skilled workers. Many of those who want it most — those who express the greatest desire to learn skills for a new career and have the least confidence in their current skills — are the least likely to have participated in upskilling or to say their employer provides it. The challenge to employers is to expand upskilling opportunities to those in the lowest income earning groups and with the lowest current skill levels. Such an expansion would allow for more upskilling opportunities for those workers who may derive the most benefit from upgrading their skills.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Upskilling: a powerful employee benefit and recruiting tool
Upskilling in US – An additional 8.6% in annual income for workers and a powerful talent attraction tool
COVID-19 has impacted work in unprecedented ways, with 30 million American adults reporting having lost their jobs or businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. As the U.S. economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, upskilling programs — defined as training or education that teaches new skills or advances or upgrades existing skills — present … Continue reading
This report is the second volume of Cedefop research on empowering adults through upskilling and reskilling pathways. It presents the Cedefop analytical framework for developing upskilling pathways for low-skilled adults and illustrates its conceptual development. The analytical framework is aimed at supporting policy-makers and stakeholders in designing and implementing sustainable, coordinated and coherent approaches to … Continue reading
Cedefop has started a close cooperation with France and Italy to support the development and implementation of systematic, coordinated and coherent approaches to upskilling pathways for low-skilled adults in the two countries. This first cycle of Cedefop’s thematic country reviews (TCRs) on upskilling pathways will take place between 2021 and 23. The reviews are country-owned … Continue reading
In September 2020, the UK government announced a Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which aims to transform the training and skills system to ensure more people can gain sought-after skills and improve their career prospects. We’ve put together this Lifetime Skills Guarantee FAQ to help you get the funded training you may be eligible for under this … Continue reading
Upskilling – Wide-scale investment in upskilling has the potential to boost GDP by $6.5 trillion by 2030
Upskilling for Shared Prosperity is a call to action. It makes the economic case for providing employees with learning and development opportunities to expand their horizons while minimizing skills gaps. The report highlights certain challenges but also presents upskilling’s advantages. The report’s key findings include: 1. Wide-scale investment in upskilling has the potential to boost … Continue reading
It’s not enough to just talk about upskilling people. It’s essential to understand exactly how to put an advanced, people-focused upskilling strategy in place now. Upskilling is all about preparing for the future Keeping people’s skills in sync with the constantly changing world of work is the biggest talent challenge of our time. To meet … Continue reading
This summary suggests ways to strengthen training, overcome generational divides, and rebrand manufacturing trades to attract more young people and women into the trades: Broadband vs. dial-up generations Generational differences affect digital upskilling: • Apprentices are typically digitally savvy. They prefer text and e-mail communication, whereas established journeypersons are less comfortable with basic digital tasks … Continue reading
Why aren’t companies making progress with upskilling? Because they’re focusing on the organization rather than the individual. Here’s how to change that. Time to Shift the Paradigm If the benefits of upskilling are so obvious, why aren’t most companies making progress? The problem is the paradigm. For too long, upskilling has focused on the company, … Continue reading
Upskilling and Reskilling in Europe – A potential of 128 million adults (46.1% of the adult population)
As 2020 approaches, and the EU is still far from attaining its benchmark of 15% adult participation in learning, our societies face multiple challenges: technological changes, including digitalisation and its consequences for the future of work; ageing societies; the need for the greening of the economy; and social inclusion. Europe must improve and maintain high-level … Continue reading
Upskilling in US – Policies that combine investments in English language and digital literacy are vital
English is essential – especially for essential workers The Covid-19 pandemic has vividly illustrated the centrality of frontline workers to the everyday functioning of American life. Many frontline workers are immigrants and/or English language learners – not unlike the US workforce overall, in which more than one in 10 workers has limited English skills. The … Continue reading
The College of the Future in UK – Upskilling people, backing business, driving innovation and addressing skills gaps
What do we want and need from our colleges from 2030 onwards, and how do we get there? These were the simple, yet fundamental questions the Commission set out to answer when it began work in Spring 2019. As the Commission culminates, this report is a rallying cry for radical and decisive action – enabling … Continue reading
Where next for skills? COVID-19 has triggered unprecedented change in the workforce. How can business-led upskilling drive productivity and growth in the workforce. What can businesses do to give employees the right skills for the future of work? To enable a Business-led upskilling effort government need to; Work with business to deliver more responsive upskilling … Continue reading
Skills development has an important role to play in the immediate effort to lessen the impact of COVID-19 while the pandemic is active, in building the resilience of workers and firms, and in preparing for recovery. Time is of the essence in this response, to help speed recovery from recession, to get people back to … Continue reading
COVID, Reskilling and Upskilling – 42% of companies stepped up their investment while 42% of employees have pursued training on their own after the coronavirus outbreak
Employee reskilling and upskilling training is in the spotlight. Learn how and why companies reskill and upskill their workforce and what employees think. In late 2019, the World Economic Forum issued an alert. Lack of skills was keeping CEOs awake at night. The only way to bridge the skills gap is through upskilling or reskilling … Continue reading
Embracing remote working poses serious early-stage challenges for organizations, across the operating-model dimensions of people, structure, process, and technology and leaders have an essential role to play in developing solutions to tackle these challenges in the short term (Exhibit 1). Our recent findings show that although 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps … Continue reading
COVID, Low-Wage Earners and Upskilling – We want front line workers a chance to climb the occupational ladder
After World War Two, America expressed its gratitude to returning veterans by supporting their education. We subsequently renewed and made permanent these well earned benefits for veterans. We should do the same today for the people who are on the front line: grocery workers, food delivery workers, restaurant workers, building cleaners, hospital orderlies, EMTs, and … Continue reading
Upskilling and Reskilling Needs in Europe – 128 million adults or 46.1% of the adult population of this area
This study is the first volume of Cedefop research on empowering adults through upskilling and reskilling pathways. It estimates the magnitude of the low-skilled adult population according to a broader conceptualisation which goes beyond educational attainment levels, and considers digital skills, literacy and numeracy, as well as skill loss and skill obsolescence. The study also … Continue reading
In one of the largest global surveys of labor trends and work preferences, BCG and online recruiting company the Network surveyed 366,000 people in 197 countries. The results revealed that most people are prepared to retrain for a new position. If people feel that their livelihoods are affected by global megatrends, it follows that … Continue reading
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the world of work at rapid pace and driving up the level of skills required. But this picture is complicated further by declining levels of adult participation in learning precisely at the time it needs to be going up. The UK skills situation is made more challenging by a … Continue reading
Reskilling – CEOs are now focussed on reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce says PWC’s 22nd CEO Survey
Automation, primarily in the form of robotics and artificial intelligence, brings with it the promise of improved productivity and higher profits — but at what cost to employment and, by extension, to society? What responsibility do corporations have to reskill employees who otherwise would be displaced by technology? And what value does reskilling offer an … Continue reading
Upskilling in Asia Pacific – By prioritising external talent over upskilling, many are missing out on potential benefits
Learning and development is seen as vital, but its quality must improve Learning and development (L&D) is an essential part of any job, with 70% of surveyed employees based in APAC seeing opportunities for L&D as important when considering a new job role. L&D can offer an array of benefits to employees and teams – … Continue reading
The skills gap is widening as the battle for talent intensifies It is becoming harder and harder to find talent with key skills, while redundancies and severance expenses are mounting. Investment in internal training can help tackle these issues, but companies often do not prioritise such initiatives owing to cost, time, the unclear return on … Continue reading
This work contributes to the “Jobs and Skills” module of the Going Digital horizontal project and to the Skills Outlook 2019 on Skills and Digitalisation. It results from the cooperation between the Directorate for Education and Skills (EDU) and the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). It proposes an experimental methodology and first time … Continue reading
In 2017, 15.7% of low-qualified young Europeans aged 15 to 29 were not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 9.6% of their better educated peers. In the same year, the unemployment rate of low-qualified adults of working age (25 to 64) stood at 13.9% in the EU-28 while that of their highly qualified … Continue reading
SAP (a global software company based in Walldorf, Germany) digital-business-services (DBS) division, one of the main divisions in the company, with around 20,000 employees, began implementing a comprehensive workforce skills upgrade in 2017, to support shifts in its product portfolio toward more digital innovation and cloud products. The upgrade is a multiyear “learning strategy,” which … Continue reading
Future of Work and the Skills Gap – A net positive outlook for jobs, while no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling by 2022,
As technological breakthroughs rapidly shift the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms, global labour markets are undergoing major transformations. These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all, but if managed poorly, … Continue reading
With federal budget consultations underway, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued six recommendations aimed at supporting inclusive economic growth and competitiveness by investing in skills and innovation. This is critical to help Canadians prepare for the future of work and to stay competitive in a rapidly changing labour market. These recommendations were shared as … Continue reading
By Lucy Wyndham – Upskilling Defines the Future of Construction Industry Despite working hard to become certified in your specific industry, the half-life of learned skills is now about five years, which means the skills you learned while attaining a degree or industry qualification could well already be out-of-date. As we round the corner full speed into the … Continue reading
In communities across the country, many employers are having trouble finding enough skilled workers, especially to fill middle-skilled positions that require some postsecondary training but not a four-year college degree. They may be overlooking an untapped resource. Immigrants in those communities could potentially meet these labor force needs, but many are in lower-skilled jobs with limited … Continue reading
As the types of skills needed in the labour market change rapidly, individual workers will have to engage in life-long learning if they are to achieve fulfilling and rewarding careers. For companies, reskilling and upskilling strategies will be critical if they are to find the talent they need and to contribute to socially responsible approaches … Continue reading
Look closely at the numbers in our new analysis of the “digitalization” of the labor market and you see that the greatest change is occurring not at the top of the skills distribution, but at the bottom and middle. Sure, the creation of many new jobs for highly skilled software developers and computer systems analysts … Continue reading
Reading, writing, making simple calculations and using a computer: these are things we do every day, putting in practice our basic skills, mostly without even noticing. This is not straight forward for everyone though. For almost 70 million in Europe, such tasks can pose problems. Whether in employment, unemployed or economically inactive, the new “Upskilling … Continue reading