CLOSE SKILLS GAP TO STAY RELEVANT
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.