Let’s find out what reskilling is and why implementing it is a corporate priority.
The term reskilling is now understood by many human resources offices as “updating and training employees to ensure they acquire special skills to perform new and different tasks”. HR managers are increasingly aware of how important reskilling is for company resources, mapping current skills and those needed to quickly update and adapt to the demands of the market.
Reskilling involves us all
Digitization, automation and artificial intelligence progress are becoming global business cornerstones and it is precisely this revolution that has begun to set new standards. Modern companies need to adapt if their goal is to remain competitive in the market. To do so they can prioritize the requalification of their resources. As the McKinsey Global Institute discusses in the report “Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation”1, workers who will be affected by new technologies will reach 375 million by 2030, questioning their fitness in the labor market. Among the most advanced countries, the United States will be the most impacted with 64 million people involved, while China, with 102 million workers, will lead the rank of developing countries. These numbers allow us to understand how the skills of workers are actually influenced by a changing society and that no one, regardless of their level of economic development, is immune to the challenge that reskilling poses: to keep up with changes we must focus on requalifying necessary skills.
An unexplored challenge
The McKinsey report also underlines how the challenge of reskilling is somewhat similar to what occurred with the transition from agricultural to industrial work. Thanks to the industrial revolution, we have gone from rural to factory work, changing the economy and generating a new workforce. The same is happening for the technological revolution, but in even more radical ways. Compared to past phenomena we can in fact see three main characteristics:
- Today’s challenge takes place in a little explored and constantly evolving territory.
- Previous changes in the work field have occurred over a long time, but currently there are new technologies that run and become outdated at the same time.
- Precisely because of the speed of these changes, the need to update workers’ skills becomes a priority.
It’s obvious that the challenges brought by modern change still need to be explored, but in order to follow this flow, constant updating of our teams’ professional qualities is fundamental. For this reason, HR and trainers must acknowledge and implement internal reskilling processes to allow all professionals, regardless of age, seniority, or sector, to train and remain competitive in the market.
Reskilling can’t wait any longer
Implementation of retraining programs and updating of corporate skills is becoming increasingly important. Not investing in these training processes means risking exclusion from an increasingly fluid and competitive market. And this is where the role of HR comes into play: try to emphasize this urgency and push for global companies to commit to implementing reskilling plans as soon as possible especially by proposing smart, digital training methods that respect the current workflow.
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1 McKinsey Global Institute (2017). Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation. McKinsey