Randstad: One-third of U.S. workers did nothing to upskill in the past year
- Employers and employees apparently have different ideas about upskilling, says Business Insider, citing a Randstad U.S. report. The quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey found that although 80% of workers feel upskilling is their responsibility, neither they nor their employers are acting on upskilling opportunities. Upskilling involves taking courses, participating in workshops, consulting with specialists, having a personal coach or furthering an education.
- According to the report, a third of U.S. workers said they’ve done nothing to upskill in the past year. Research results also found that 67% of employees said they need more skills and training to keep up-to-date; 40% said their employers haven’t offered opportunities or paid for upskilling; and 40% of employees said they won’t arrange or pay for their own upskilling.
- The type of skills employees said they need differed among generations. Of respondents 18 to 34 years old, 66% said they needed to strengthen their personal skills, while just 28% of respondents 45 years and older said their personal skills needed improving. About 70% of the older respondents reported that boosting their vocational skills was crucial to their development.
Employees and workers agree that upskilling is necessary. The disagreement seems focused on who initiates and pays for upskilling. HR leaders can access labor statistics for determining what type of skills will likely be valuable in the future, especially in the age of automation. Sharing this information with employees could be the catalyst that encourages employees to engage.
Employers that can offer workers in-house training and tuition reimbursement programs can get ahead of the game — and likely their competition. Learning and development programs are increasingly key parts of benefit offerings, particularly in hourly or "blue-collar" workforces such as retail and food service. Emergent learning tech can make employee development more interesting and fun than a simple classroom setting, allowing workers to engage at their own pace with content that is easy to digest.
As automation continues its forward march, employees will need to be developed in such a way that they can both work alongside new tech and manage the new tech effectively. Millennials wisely recognize the importance of problem-solving, creativity and collaboration — skills that, so far, only humans can provide in a digital age.