Upskilling refers to the process of teaching current employees’ new skills. As technology creates opportunities, employers seek to fill new jobs with candidates who possess specialised skill sets.
By upskilling existing employees, companies can fill open positions while retaining their current workforce by creating learning opportunities. In today’s world, the importance of upskilling to address “the combined effect of an ageing workforce and technological change is very crucial.
An employee, when joining has a core set of skills which helps them in starting their career. Over time, he/she becomes more proficient in these skills, eventually becoming an expert in some of them and additionally adding in-depth knowledge of other soft skills. In this day and age, the responsibility is no longer placed on the employer to improve the performance of their employees. Ownership must be taken by the employee to ensure they are maintaining a position as one of the most valuable members of the organisation.
How can I get investment from my employer?
While it’s an employer’s responsibility to provide career growth and development opportunities, it’s an employee’s responsibility to implement them into his or her career plan, while working with their manager to achieve small goals in the pursuit of larger ones. Here are some things to consider when asking for investment in your development:
- Arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss
- Why do you want to attend this training / upskill in this area?
- What benefit will it bring to the company immediately?
- What benefit will this bring to the company in the long term?
- Why is this course/program the best and most cost-effective?
- Will you be able to share these skills to support the development of the wider team?
What options for upskilling are available?
- Sign up for training courses: Most companies invest money in their staff by providing training or arranging for them to go on training through a third-party learning institution. Make your goals known to your manager so that he can plan for your career development.
- Consider Getting Certified: There has been an explosive growth in professional certification in the past few years. Certification gives recognition of competency, shows commitment to the profession, and helps with job advancement add stability to your long-term employment prospects.
- Take up online courses: Online training is a highly accessible, flexible form of upskilling. The main benefit to online study is having the choice of studying when you want, where you want.
- Look out for mentorship programs: Mentoring is a powerful development tool that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. In a mentoring relationship, you will have an opportunity to discuss, receive honest and constructive feedback and get access to the information, knowledge and experience from a more experienced professional.
- Go back to university: You could take a sabbatical (leave) and go and study. You will become a student and attend lectures and write exams, just as if you had gone to university straight after school.
Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
As employers and employees work together to take advantage of upskilling, both sides will benefit from a more knowledgeable workforce, the career opportunities such knowledge provides and the employee engagement resulting from increased opportunities.
Shwetha Gowda, Dassault Systèmes Training Coordinator at Majenta.
For more information about how you can upskill your workforce and the benefits of doing so, please get in touch with Shwetha on 02476308030 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.