- In order to provide access to training for in-demand jobs, primarily in the technology sector, Randstad US and Udemy announced Nov. 16 a partnership to offer free educational courses to American workers. The workers must have either already placed or are currently looking for roles through Randstad's job network, according to the announcement.
- Randstad US had a 54% enrollment rate in the first two months of the partnership, the human resources consulting firm said. Program participants used more than 3,800 hours of course content. "About 18% of Randstad talent who participated in upskilling courses have been redeployed within 30 days of completing their most recent assignments," Randstad said.
- The learning paths focus on technical and exam prep skills with topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, Cloud, Python and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The courses also provide instruction in personal development, soft skills and critical business skills. The partnership with Udemy is part of Randstad US' contribution to the Pledge to America's Workers, a White House initiative to train and retrain workers launched in 2018. Randstad US is committed to skilling 40,000 U.S. workers through the initiative, the firm said.
Amid the pandemic, employers have seen a growing relevance of education partnerships, with some companies creating training programs. However, the crisis has also placed a focus on automation.
A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in July found the pandemic "has the potential to accelerate the process of automation," as workers are substituted with robots and computers that are not affected by pandemics. Therefore, training that keeps pace with automation should focus more on broad reskilling rather than on individual technologies or systems, Sampath Sowmyanarayan, president of global enterprise at Verizon Business, previously told HR Dive. Training platforms that use virtual reality and augmented, for example, are conducive for skill development in the next decade, according to learning and development experts.
"The pandemic has highlighted the importance of equipping every American with versatile skills that can easily transfer to growth industries, especially in the technology sector," Jennifer Seith, senior vice president of product strategy and innovation at Randstad US said in a statement. The partnership with Udemy will allow "talent in Randstad's network to focus on enhancing their skills to grow in their current roles and better position themselves for future roles, as well," Seith said.
Upskilling and reskilling benefits employees and could have a protective effect on the U.S. economy, according to research. The skills gap in the U.S. labor market could cost the economy $1.2 trillion over the next decade without intervention, according to a 2019 report by American Action Forum (AAF), a center-right think tank.