Challenges Organisations Are Addressing To Bridge The Skill Gap

While the transformation in businesses has led to an unprecedented crisis in the workforce, it has also opened opportunities for organisations and employees to rethink ways of skill building

The digital-driven era has significantly changed the course of business operations across the globe, with automation and advanced technological innovation transforming every domain of almost every occupation. One of the outcomes of the pandemic has been the increased dependance on technological intervention, even in the simplest of business operations. This has also exposed a big gap between where employers have wanted their employees to be and where they’re actually at.  

A Mckinsey & Company report indicates that around 375 million people might have to change their field of work this decade to meet the expectations of their employers. This clearly depicts that the demands of the workforce and the requirements of businesses are not on the same page. This also creates a substantial risk for employers seeking sustainable growth with the right workforce, who can do what needs to be done.  

The growing expectations of the businesses for advanced skills have been daunting for the employees too who have been looking for career transition or opportunities for regular training. This has also led to the ‘Great Resignation’ and a substantial decline in employment figures. Notably, surveys have brought forward that globally the population of professionals under the age of 24 grew 30 per cent between 1999 and 2019 while the employment rate declined to around 12 per cent during the period. Also, while several employees lost their jobs during the pandemic, many others in highly affected areas had their hours and income slashed.

From simpler jobs to high-tech jobs, there are not enough qualified candidate for several positions, especially in domains which involve specific technical proficiencies like software engineers, system architects, etc. While the large-scale resignations have provided companies with chances to skill up their employees, it has also spiked the professionals' desire to acquire new skills.

Thereby, organisations are now exploring strategies to re-skill or up-skill their employees to increase the retention rate, bringing in a transition of ‘great resignation’ into a re-skilling revolution. While the transformation in businesses has led to an unprecedented crisis in the workforce, it has also opened opportunities for organisations and employees to rethink ways of skill building. Experts even suggest that the post-pandemic period is the best opportunity in a generation for companies to skill up their employees with various professional training programmes.

Some surveys have indicated that around 7 out of 10 employees across the globe are willing to stay on the job and learn new skills. To retain the employees, who might quit the organisation to explore more rewarding opportunities, companies will have to create a workplace which will be an avenue for skill development and allow employees to cultivate new areas of expertise while being on the job. Implementation of robust skill-building exercises in organisations will not only help to retain employees but also create a highly skilled workforce.

However, businesses seeking to implement and expand their skill training programmes should primarily conduct full skill audits, through which the organisations will be able to figure out the skills which will be relevant over the next few years and then plan up-skilling programs accordingly. Also, skill assessment should be a regular practice and be a part of the quarterly review process, to enable managers to align employee up-skilling opportunities with the strategic needs of the company.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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