Part 1: The Individual Investment
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Aug. 9, 2022
For years, there has been conversation around the widening skills gap and the need to prepare today’s workforce for the future…well, the future is NOW. Ever-increasing supply and demand needs, technological advancements, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have forced companies to reimagine their operations and workforce needs. They’ve also had to identify how to either attract new employees or ensure their current workforce gains the skills needed to advance the organization’s goals. In this two-part “Why Upskilling” blog series, we will share the benefits of upskilling for both employees and employers, common roadblocks and obstacles regarding upskilling, and why upskilling should become a common part of individual development and company culture.
To start off, we will take a deeper dive into why upskilling matters for employees and its impact.
Numbers Don’t Lie
There’s a saying that goes along the lines of, “Without data, you’re just someone with an opinion.” And while this blog is technically an opinion piece, we thought sharing some cold, hard facts would be the best way to set the stage for the upskilling dilemma.
- 90% of executives and managers say their organization is facing a skills gap
- 87% of worldwide companies are aware they either already have a skills gap or will have one in a few years
- 58% of the workforce will need to develop new skill sets to do their jobs successfully
Pretty jarring, right? We thought so too. But what do these statistics really mean? In laments terms, many organizations do not have a workforce equipped to do the jobs they need them to do. There are at least three things playing a factor here:
- Even traditional, entry-level roles that once required minimum experience are becoming more complex due to technological advancements
- With the increasing number of start-ups, e-commerce companies, and the subsequent advent of the gig economy, the employability of the blue-collar workforce has increased
- With the current pressure to pursue college degrees over trades, this is leaving a gap in the market for candidates to fill light industrial jobs – 2.4 million manufacturing jobs are expected to go unfilled through 2028
The skills gap, and the need for upskilling, are becoming more apparent daily. Another thing that you [an employee] may have noticed, is how lengthy job descriptions have become – more experience required, differing skill sets coming into play, and more of an emphasis on soft skills. It’s apparent that individual upskilling will become vital to remain a competitive candidate in today’s job market. However, the skills gap doesn’t have to be “bad” or negative – if anything, it can serve as an opportunity to elevate yourself, become a life-long learner, and take advantage of the workforce shift and needs of a company.
The Two Biggest Challenges
But if the need-for-upskilling signs are apparent, and if employees and employers know something needs to be done to address the skills gap, then what’s keeping individuals from pursuing upskilling? There are two main challenges – time and money.
In a previous Gallup poll, while more than 57% of workers are extremely interested in upskilling, on average, full-time employed Americans are working 47 hours/week. Additionally, a recent survey by Gigs Done Right, showed that more than half of full-time workers also participate in gig-economy or freelance work. Working that many hours in a week, coupled with family needs, and social expectations – who has the actual time to also do upskilling?
The second challenge – is money. Many upskilling courses and programs cost thousands of dollars, regardless of industry or skill(s) learned. With the cost of living constantly rising, and the highest inflation rate since the 1980s, many Americans, simply cannot afford to upskill themselves.
Don’t Fret, You Always Have Options
While the internet is saturated with various costly upskilling options, there are free courses and learning pathways available – if you know where to look.
At the Adecco Group US Foundation, we are passionate about the role of education in closing the skills gap. Through work-related programs, partnerships, and investments, the Foundation aims to create greater economic opportunities for American workers. We took away the cost barrier, and work with employers and organizations’ partners to remove the time barrier. Through our Aspire Academy, we work to help close that gap by leveraging the strengths and capabilities of two powerful platforms – Penn Foster and Percipio.
We are proud to offer these courses at no cost to both Adecco Group candidates and working associates. From life skills to hard skills, to soft skills, to career-focused certification programs – we’ve got it covered. This year alone, more than 13,500 individuals have accessed courses across both platforms.
Why Upskilling? Here’s Four Reasons
By now you’ve read about the skills gap and the challenges it’s causing for employees and employers. We’ve also shared about our Aspire Academy and the thousands of individuals who made the decision to invest in themselves by upskilling. Outside of simply “investing in yourself,” there are tangible, positive benefits to upskilling as well.
Greater Earning Potential: Bringing new skills to the table and demonstrating how those skills will benefit your company, organization, or future employer gives you the leverage and confidence you need to position yourself as a top-quality candidate/employee
Ability to Make a Career Change: Acquiring in-demand skills may help you land the promotion you are looking for or help you get a new job in a new industry, having transferrable skills has become key
Enhanced Work Life: Using new skills can help you feel more productive and satisfied at work, in addition to bolstering your motivation and morale
Personal Development and Growth: Mastering new skills can help keep your memory and thinking sharp. They can also help you find a fresh perspective, and a new passion – and can even be FUN!
We hope this blog has inspired you to do some research, enroll in coursework for upskilling, pick up a book to learn something new, or at least seriously consider investing in yourself in some way that works best for your personal needs. And if you still don’t believe upskilling can make a difference, check out some of our learner success stories from amazing Adecco associates who took the time to invest in themselves and do some upskilling.
To learn more about our upskilling programs through the Aspire Academy, visit the link.
About the Adecco Group
The Adecco Group is the world’s leading HR solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers.
We skill, develop, and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organisations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies.
Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 35,000 employees. We are proud to have been consistently ranked one of the ‘World’s Best Workplaces’ by Great Place to Work®.
The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by three global business units: Adecco, Talent Solutions and Modis.