CLOSE SKILLS GAP TO STAY REL­E­VANT

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Learning - ME­LANIE BURGESS

IN an era of con­tin­ual change and life­long learning, ev­ery­one must be able to iden­tify the gaps in their skills and how to close them.

Whether they are a teacher who needs to be­come fa­mil­iar with the real-world ap­pli­ca­tions of the sub­ject they teach, or a trades­per­son who trained be­fore the lat­est equip­ment was in­tro­duced, or an of­fice worker who as­pires to man­age­ment but does not feel con­fi­dent in their pre­sen­ta­tion skills, all work­ers have gaps.

A new RMIT On­line and Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics whitepa­per, Learn. Work. Re­peat., re­veals 88 per cent of em­ploy­ers have dif­fi­culty find­ing em­ploy­ees with the skills they need.

Al­most two-thirds of sur­veyed busi­nesses find it “hard” or “very hard” to find peo­ple with lead­er­ship skills (63 per cent) and prob­lem solv­ing skills (62 per cent), while more than half (53 per cent) strug­gle to find can­di­dates with cre­ativ­ity and the lat­est in­dus­try knowl­edge.

There are also gaps in technical skills, such as data anal­y­sis (49 per cent) and cod­ing/pro­gram­ming (48 per cent).

RMIT On­line chief ex­ec­u­tive He­len Souness says the rec­om­men­da­tions in the whitepa­per highlight the ur­gent need for work­ers to adapt.

“The find­ings in our whitepa­per of­fer an op­ti­mistic glimpse into the fu­ture of work and in­dus­try 5.0, where life­long learning can un­lock the po­ten­tial of emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies, fly­ing in the face of fears that ‘robots will take our jobs’,” Souness says.

Skill­soft vice-pres­i­dent of tech­nol­ogy and de­vel­oper prod­ucts Mike Hen­drick­son says work­ers who want to stay rel­e­vant must be able to iden­tify skill gaps.

“As soon as you start in your first job and as soon as you want your next job (you need to look at your skill gaps),” he says.

Hen­drick­son says for many work­ers the process of iden­ti­fy­ing skill gaps and con­tin­ual learning hap­pens nat­u­rally as they take on new projects and dis­cover their strengths and weak­nesses. He rec­om­mends work­ers test their skills by do­ing on­line cour­ses and see­ing if they un­der­stand all of the top­ics or whether they need to bol­ster their knowl­edge.

SKILLS BOOST: Work­ers need to iden­tify gaps in knowl­edge and con­tinue to reskill through­out their ca­reer.

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