Up­skilling can be a two way street

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NORTHEAST JOBS -

WHOSE re­spon­si­bil­ity is up­skilling?

Ask em­ploy­ers and they sug­gest em­ploy­ees but ask pro­fes­sion­als and many say the or­gan­i­sa­tion they work for should be ac­count­able.

That is one key find­ing from re­search car­ried out by re­cruit­ing ex­perts Hays amongst 1253 pro­fes­sion­als and 951 em­ploy­ers.

A massive 96 per cent of the pro­fes­sion­als sur­veyed con­sider up­skilling as ‘im­por­tant’ or ‘very im­por­tant’, 84 per cent would not con­sider a role that lacked skills devel­op­ment and 47 per cent wouldn’t join an or­gan­i­sa­tion that didn’t of­fer for­mal train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

For some, not re­ceiv­ing time off to at­tend sem­i­nars or con­fer­ences (34 per cent), a lack of coach­ing (27 per cent) or men­tor­ships (24 per cent) and not pro­vid­ing time off for univer­sity or TAFE stud­ies (18 per cent) are deal break­ers.

In­ter­est­ingly, 64 per cent said they were more likely to join and stay with an or­gan­i­sa­tion that uses the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.

In con­trast, 77 per cent of the em­ploy­ers Hays sur­veyed said they were more likely to short­list a qual­i­fied can­di­date who reg­u­larly up­skills them­selves and 59 per cent ac­tively en­cour­age em­ploy­ees to be­come self-di­rected learn­ers.

“There’s a push-pull be­tween em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees when it comes to up­skilling,” said Nick Deli­gian­nis, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Hays in Aus­tralia & New Zealand.

“To­day’s job­seek­ers are far more likely to judge a po­ten­tial job role on how well it will po­si­tion them for ca­reer longevity.

“Given how quickly tech­nol­ogy changes, the chal­lenge is to stay em­ploy­able by keep­ing skills rel­e­vant. Em­ploy­ers that pro­vide on-the-job train­ing are there­fore be­com­ing very at­trac­tive to job­seek­ers. “With highly-skilled pro­fes­sion­als in de­mand, it could be that bosses who en­sure their em­ploy­ees’ con­tin­u­ing learn­ing will gain the up­per hand in se­cur­ing top tal­ent.” A re­port by Deloitte, Ca­reers and learn­ing, Real time, all the time, sug­gests the half-life of learned skills is fall­ing rapidly while the longer work­ing life of peo­ple means “the con­cept of ca­reer is be­ing shaken to its core.

“In the past, em­ployee learn­ing was to gain skills for a ca­reer; now, the ca­reer it­self is a jour­ney of learn­ing,” the re­port au­thors said.

But the ques­tion re­mains: Who should be re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing peo­ple up­skilled? In­di­vid­u­als or em­ploy­ers?

“Given that the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion is re­shap­ing how ev­ery in­dus­try and pro­fes­sion op­er­ates via dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and tech­nolo­gies such as AI, the an­swer is prob­a­bly a com­bi­na­tion of em­ploy­ers hir­ing in ac­tive learn­ers with a demon­strated his­tory of up­skilling, while also train­ing up their ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ees,” Nick said.

Lon­don School of Eco­nomics Pro­fes­sor Lynda Grat­ton sug­gests in the book, the 100-Year Life, Liv­ing and Work­ing in the Age of Longevity, that gov­ern­ment should also play a role by “school­ing” peo­ple through­out their lives but em­ploy­ers must drive skill building at work and help em­ploy­ees un­der­stand their op­tions to skill up no mat­ter their age or ca­reer stage.

◆ HIT THE BOOKS: De­bate con­tin­ues as to who is re­sp­son­si­ble for em­ployee up­skilling.

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