- Automotive maker Honda will provide additional training opportunities to 50,000 of its workers by 2025 to "ensure that the company's associates who design, produce, sell and service Honda products have the necessary education and training to succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology," it announced Jan. 21.
- The move is part of a White House initiative, the Pledge to America's Workers, aimed at expanding programs that "educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near-retirement."
- Noting that it also will be challenged to attract the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers, the company said it agreed to sponsor Creators Wanted, an effort aimed at increasing employment in the sector. Honda noted that in a 2018 study, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute estimated that millions of manufacturing jobs are at risk of going unfilled during the next decade.
As the war for talent continues and skill gaps widen, businesses, governments and educators are collaborating to upskill workers. The U.S. Department of Labor's 2019 proposal to overhaul the apprentice program approval process is one such way the federal government plans to make upskilling more accessible for learners and easier for business and associations to adopt.
Other partnerships have emerged. McDonald's and Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College, for example, announced Jan. 9 a partnership between 300 McDonald's restaurants and 18 of the school's campuses. Ivy Tech will make available "crosswalk credits" to McDonald's workers, providing them a way to learn on the job. This will allow workers to earn a degree faster, according to the press release.
Learning and development has proven business critical in more than a few studies. A 2019 Deloitte report cited learning as a top trend, driven largely by the shortage and competition for talent. But as digitization, specifically automation, creates a greater need for "super jobs" requiring higher level skills, employers will likely turn to upskilling and reskilling to prepare workforces for the future.
But unclear career paths and unequal access make up barriers to reskilling, according to new research from RAND Corporation. Unclear career paths obstruct the path to reskilling for workers, the group said, as does unequal access to training and education systems. Additionally, employers lack ample ways to develop and pilot new reforms, policies and strategies, it determined.
RAND Corporation suggested several ways to transform skill development, including individual and equal access to learning and matching workers with jobs aligned to their skills in a more timely and appropriate way, which will require more robust connections between businesses and educators.
Skill enhancement should be an easy sell to employees. Workers say they are seeking employers that provide such opportunities. And more than three quarters of respondents to an Axonify study said an employer would be more appealing if it offered additional training designed to develop their skills for the future.