Monday, September 20, 2021

Closing the skills gap: Report reveals the pros and cons of workforce training initiatives

100% of survey respondents stated that education and developmental opportunities were either “somewhat successful” (or “very successful”) for them.

Young woman having online training, using laptop and wireless headset

Image: Prostock-Studio, Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to the TechRepublic article “Up to 12.5 million Americans could struggle to find work in 2030 due to a growing skills gap” by Esther Shein, the United States will likely experience a shortfall in its workforce of 600,000 to 12.5 million—between 0.9% to 4.2% of its workforce—by 2030, according to a joint “The Future of Jobs in the Era of AI,” released by Faethm and Boston Consulting Group. 

SEE: Research: It’s worth investing in workforce training to increase employee productivity, job satisfaction, and job satisfaction

How can businesses bridge the digital skills gap? As the COVID pandemic, AI, automation, digital transform and other tech trends continue to change business needs, how can they help their employees become digitally skilled? TechRepublic Premium surveyed 89 respondents in a variety of industries, job functions, and company sizes to find out. 

The survey asked about the various ways technology can help business leaders build their future workforce. It also addressed how to update employees’ skills. It also discussed the pros and cons for offering employees educational and developmental opportunities. We were specifically interested in questions about the importance of training, how skills are focused, participation rates, success rates and budgets. 

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Survey respondents shared their views on the options for retraining or upskilling offered by their organizations, as well as arguments for and against such programs. A majority (87%) of respondents stated that their companies regard any learning opportunity as very important or important.

SEE: Research: It’s worth investing in workforce training to increase employee productivity, job satisfaction, and job satisfaction

Businesses support employee development and continuing education for a variety of reasons. These include improving expertise and making employees feel valued, increasing employee retention, and boosting productivity. 

One-tenth (11%) of respondents said that such initiatives are not essential to business operations because they are too expensive, not used in the past, deferred to employees, or pose a risk to their safety, thus wasting money and time.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents recognized that there was a need for retraining or upskilling employees following the pandemic. Only 14 percent of respondents believed that the pandemic didn’t increase the need to retrain or upskill employees. Twenty percent were unconvinced.

SEE: Research: It’s worth investing in workforce training to increase employee productivity, job satisfaction, and job satisfaction

Respondents indicated that the most popular training or skill initiatives focused on leadership (47%), cloud service (32%), automation (32%), cybersecurity (29%), networking/VPN technologies (29%), and SaaS (25%).

Although 100% of respondents said the training was “somewhat successful” to “very successful”, only 37% used an official feedback/analysis process in order to determine how employees benefitted from the experience. 63% of respondents didn’t know the option existed or did not contribute. 

Companies recognized the need for better communication and clarification of feedback options. All respondents agreed that they would like to improve their training.

Below is an infographic that highlights some of the findings from the research. You can download the full report to read more findings and analyze. Research: It’s worth investing in workforce training to increase employee productivity, job satisfaction, and job satisfaction.

digitalworkforce-infographic-07252021.jpg

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