Why training and reskilling are essential for the next generation of employees

Long gone are the days when professionals and fresh graduates could get jobs and advance their careers solely on the basis of technical skills. /Representative image | www.freepik.com

With rapid digital transformation, companies are in a race to redesign their people, processes and technology to meet future demand. One of the key factors for organizational success is human capital and the workforce forms the backbone of any organization. Employees are the engine that propels the organization forward. That’s why companies want talent that changes with the times to adapt to today’s dynamic work landscape.

To respond to this shifting paradigm, there are numerous executive education platforms and specialists that offer a plethora of courses and certificate programs to support professional skills development. As a result of the pandemic, the employment scenario has undergone a drastic change. There is a great economic boom and promise of growth for organizations that adopt a highly motivated and learning-oriented culture.

Professionals at all levels of the company are now rethinking their career plans and planning for a future that is both exciting and uncertain.

In addition, there is rapid digitization (not to be confused with digital transformation). Businesses are simply more dependent on new technologies, software and hardware to run their business and processes, regardless of their industry. This has led to the emergence of new jobs and positions that did not exist 10 years ago. From social media to cloud computing, from artificial intelligence experts to customer experience managers, there is a deluge of jobs made possible by technology.

Whether you’re in technology or have your primary skill in sales, finance, or any other function, developing a cross-functional skill set to understand the nuances of these changes has become imperative in any job.

Technological innovation, the growing need for new skills, changing workforce demographics and inclusion/diversity policies, new workforce models and the business environment dynamic with all its regulatory changes have all contributed to changes in the nature of work. The COVID-19 pandemic has recently triggered a reassessment of the role of learning and development (L&D) in business, as well as how learning could be delivered in the short term. Many learning managers and learning and development teams have recognized that reskilling and upskilling are the solutions to these problems, and that traditional learning is insufficient.

Further training and requalification

Upskilling employees means offering them the tools and training that enable them to perform better in their current position. This can help a business stay competitive and adaptable as the industry progresses. Additionally, talent requires developing new abilities that complement and enhance existing ones.

Retraining is the process of teaching people to do jobs unrelated to their current job. This means that the organization will train the employee for a new position within the company. During the pandemic, many businesses began to repurpose in order to maintain ongoing operations with fewer staff and supply chain disruptions.

Workforce development and reskilling

According to McKinsey researchers, there has never been more demand for companies to reskill and upskill their workers. Businesses that want to recover more quickly from the COVID-19 outbreak will need to reskill their staff. Additionally, according to the World Economic Forum, by 2025 more than half of all employees worldwide will need to retrain or upskill to stay competitive.

There is a labor shortage in almost every industry and the situation is not expected to change any time soon. The days of hiring new employees who are competent and ready to take on new tasks are long gone. According to SHRM’s skills gap research, 83% of HR professionals said they had difficulty finding suitable candidates. The report further states that 75% of respondents surveyed thought there was a shortage of qualified people for job vacancies. Because companies are unable to find the talent they need, they have to look within and develop it.

Moreover, hiring an employee is one of the most critical success factors for an organization. It’s a big investment, from hiring costs to training and onboarding. It makes sense to continue to maximize this investment by upgrading or reskilling current staff. Even if the organization could find a suitable candidate, retraining would likely cost significantly less than hiring and training a new person.

New era of work culture

Most business leaders recognize that upskilling and reskilling will be crucial in the new world of work. However, there is still a lot of discussion about the best technique to develop abilities. The most effective skill strategies aren’t just for the select few. Instead, they give everyone an equal chance to advance in their career by identifying and participating in learning activities that align with both personal and professional goals.

This is where career planning comes in. This approach introduces employees to relevant opportunities within the company. The most effective tools offer people more than one possible path; they show them many other options for their career, allowing them to choose the one that best suits their needs. Ideally, these technologies will help employees find jobs within the company they weren’t aware of before, giving them new reasons to stay. Customized training programs that meet organizational needs and open programs have a huge role to play in talent development.

The best career mapping solutions go one step further by giving individuals the choice to start reimagining their career goals immediately. AI-powered solutions can identify skill gaps employees need to fill to advance in their profession and provide them with learning and development resources to help them catch up.


With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the workforce of enterprises is changing rapidly due to the expansion of capabilities of the new era. Upskilling and reskilling processes require learning new skills and working with staff to improve future generations. Executive education is becoming the need of the hour to help high-performing professionals achieve their career goals through development and retraining. It also provides cross-functional skills to help businesses thrive in the dynamic landscape.

(John Kallelil is founder and CEO of XED-edtech. Views are personal)

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