- Nationwide will spend $160 million during the next five years to offer all of its 28,000 U.S. employees digital literacy and "future capabilities" training, according to a Jan. 13 statement.
- Each employee will receive a personalized curriculum, business unit-specific learning opportunities and a targeted career path, Nationwide said. The insurance company said it also will launch an online "Future of Work Center" in February and increase bonus incentive targets for employees.
- Gale King, Nationwide's chief administrative officer, said in the statement that a number of factors, including technological advancements and automation, require Nationwide to be proactive in preparing employees for the future. A Nationwide spokesperson told HR Dive that more details about the training announcement would be made available in February.
Highly publicized training announcements caught on in 2019, and Nationwide's decision indicates the trend may continue in 2020. Amazon made perhaps the biggest splash last year when it pledged $700 million to training more than 100,000 workers during a six-year period. Experts who spoke to HR Dive at the time said Amazon could position itself as a leader in skills training, particularly for workers in so-called "middle-skill" jobs that have been negatively affected by technology.
Other companies have announced training commitments outside their workforces. JPMorgan Chase announced in March 2019 a five-year, $350 million global initiative focused on funding community colleges and "non-traditional career pathway programs." Microsoft financially backed the expansion of the Skillful initiative, while Salesforce launched a free online platform that can help learners earn Salesforce credentials.
Whether the term used is "upskilling," "reskilling" or "retraining," both employers and employees understand advances in digital technology will require different skill sets, according to a 2019 report by consulting firm West Monroe Partners. But funding remains a central concern for any training efforts; the World Economic Forum estimated in 2019 that training an estimated 1.4 million U.S. workers who are likely to face job displacement during the next decade could cost $34 billion, or an average of about $24,800 per worker.