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How to Upskill to Prepare for Future Roles

Automation is changing the way organizations operate. Here are ways to fit into the workforce of the future.


With talent shortages at a 12-year high and new skills appearing as quickly as old ones disappear, more companies are planning to build talent than ever before, according to a new ManpowerGroup report on the skills revolution.

With organizations eager to upskill their workforce, employees can use this as an opportunity to jump-start their career mobility by adding key abilities to their resume.

Paths leading to learning

More companies are planning to build talent within their workforce, with 84% of organizations planning to upskill employees by 2020 – an exponential increase from 21% in 2011, according to the ManpowerGroup report. For an employee, that means there are numerous opportunities to embrace and volunteer for upskilling. Have a conversation with your manager about how you can fit into the organization’s long-term plans through upskilling.

The need from employees

Upskilling isn’t just an option for employees - it’s a necessity. By 2022, over half (54%) of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require training of up to six months, 9% will take six to 12 months to reskill and 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year. In other words, the sooner you start upskilling, the farther ahead you will be down the road when everyone tries to catch up.

Multiple learning pathways

Companies are deploying a myriad of approaches to address the need to upskill, from in-person training to online Learning Management Systems to train the workforce at scale. So be prepared for multiple pathways and methodologies. The more ways you can learn, the more opportunities to upskill.

As a worker during the time of a skilled worker shortfall, you are at an advantage: Employers need you. The return on investment for upskilling for your employer is clear. In North America the cost of turnover and replacement can exceed 30% of wages,14 while the cost of training remains less than 10% of wages.

That means the ball is in your court. Prioritize upskilling now, and you will have a huge advantage going into the future.

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