- Unclear career paths and unequal access to training pose substantial barriers to reskilling efforts, according to new research from RAND Corporation. The organization examined how the workforce development system isn't meeting stakeholders' needs and what educators, businesses and workers can do to transform and rebuild the system.
- Unclear career paths make it hard for workers to reskill, the group said, as does unequal access to training and education systems that are slow to change. In addition, there aren't enough ways to develop and pilot new reforms, policies and strategies, it determined.
- To meet the demanding challenges of the 21st century workforce, RAND Corporation suggested several ways to transform skill development. First, individuals need equal access to learning and training throughout their lives, including wider applicable skills and competency bases starting at the pre-k level. Next, the research suggested matching and rematching workers with jobs aligned with their skills in a more timely and appropriate way, which will require more robust connections between businesses, educators and those who provide training.
As the war for talent continues and skills gaps widen, businesses, governments and educators are collaborating to upskill workers. The U.S. Department of Labor's proposal to overhaul the apprentice program approval process is one such way the government said it plans to make upskilling more accessible for learners and easier for business and associations to adopt.
Luckily, workers are on board with upskilling, and seeking employers that provide such opportunities. In light of that, employers are realizing they must be a learning organization to remain competitive in recruiting and retention.
This means empowering workers to seek training, according to some experts. "[I]t starts with the culture," Ujjwal Gupta, co-founder and COO of BenchPrep, previously told HR Dive. "Companies need to make developing their people a priority and not an afterthought." This includes discussing learning at every opportunity, according to Gupta — at all-hands meetings, in emails and more.