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5 Common Workforce Development Problems and How to Solve Them

The ultimate guru of management thought, Peter Drucker, once said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

Peter could not have spoken truer words. In the last 100 years, we’ve witnessed more innovation and technological changes than in any other century. For instance, we’ve seen the invention of the television, the mobile phone, the personal computer, and the internet. And these are only a few examples of the progress made.

But along with disruptive change comes the need for qualified workers who understand the advancing technology and can contribute to further development. However, too often, people earn their high school diploma and graduate from college only to stop further attempts at learning new skills.

What Is Upskilling?

To address the growing technological needs of their employees, many workers upskill, meaning the process of receiving training in new skills and processes that are relevant to today’s economy and labor markets. Many short-term corporate upskilling programs teach specific skills that can add significant organizational value while contributing to greater economic development.

According to the World Economic Forum’s DAVOS Agenda 2021, more collaboration toward large-scale upskilling and reskilling initiatives could increase global GDP by $6.5 trillion and create up to 5.3 million new jobs by 2030. Certain economies with more significant skill gaps, like China and India, could benefit the most from upskilling. But in overly competitive environments like the United States, workers can also benefit greatly.Industry sectors where wages languished for the past few decades could experience exponential growth through upskilling, especially in areas like health care Healthcare Analytics – Rolai, Insurance analytics (Insurance Analytics – Rolai), Manufacturing analytics (Manufacturing Analytics – Rolai) and Telecommunication analytics (Telecommunications Analytics – Rolai).

5 Problems with Upskilling

Upskilling has a lot to offer — so why aren’t more people and corporations taking advantage of it? Here are a few common reasons:

1. Accessibility and Affordability

pskilling courses aren’t always accessible or affordable. In the U.S., attending a single college course over a semester can cost well over $1,000. If the student doesn’t intend to obtain a degree but only masters a specific skill through the certification, the expense may not be financially worthwhile. 

While more colleges now offer online courses, they may be more expensive than their traditional counterparts. If the student signs up for an on-site class, they’ll need to find the time to attend the course and meet their other responsibilities, like work and family.

2. Job Insecurity

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to upskill yourself for the role you have if there’s a risk your organization may cut your position. 

Globally, many countries are currently in the midst of economic disruptions, including high inflation rates and job losses. People in the tech industry are especially at risk. For example, Meta recently laid off 13% of its workforce across the board, including developers, HR, and accounting. In a more extreme case, Twitter let go of 50% of its staff, including many software developers and engineers.

On the flip side, undergoing additional training can help people at risk of losing their job by allowing them to learn new skills they may use in a future role elsewhere. Individuals concerned about job security should look for courses that teach the in-demand skills employers are looking for. Providers like Rolai offer collections of courses from beginner level to advance level:

  1. Python Programming – Rolai
  2. Fundamentals of Data Visualization – Part I – Rolai
  3. Deep Learning – Rolai
  4. Statistics for Data Science – Rolai
  5. Data Science Programmer – Rolai

3. Boring Coursework and Lectures

No one wants to voluntarily sit through long lectures with teachers who can’t maintain engagement in their classroom. If the subject isn’t attractive to the student, and the coursework is repetitive or difficult to apply to real-world situations, there will be little positive benefit.

Educators serious about upskilling must design their courses with engaging material and include lots of opportunities for real-world training. 

Real-world training allows students to apply the solutions they learn in a setting similar to the actual workplace. They’ll gain more practical knowledge instead of walking away from the course with a purely theoretical understanding.

4. Concerns About the Authenticity of the Program

As concern has grown about the lack of skills necessary to continue down our path of innovation and development, more educational programs have become available, especially on the internet. Many individuals seeking to enhance their skills and list their new abilities on their resumes often enroll in courses taught by industry professionals and educators. However, there is still no guarantee that these programs will be a great fit, so students should still thoroughly research their professors online before committing to the course. After all, it’s best to avoid programs that don’t have credible content.

But while many programs are questionable in authenticity and effectiveness, Rolai offers legitimate and comprehensive training opportunities for those looking to upskill themselves and launch their careers in new, exciting directions.

5. Questionable Future Career Prospects

When choosing to learn a new skill, it’s best to research what’s in demand and what’s not. You should select skills relevant to your career path unless you are planning a career switch.

Enrolling in upskilling programs that aren’t in demand or relevant to your career will likely be a waste of time, money, and effort. Your time and money are important — don’t waste them on learning outdated or irrelevant skills.

You’ll sometimes need to learn multiple skills to be competitive in your industry. Various skills are pretty standard among tech professionals. Because this varies from industry to industry, choose what is best for you according to your career goals. For example, budding data scientists will want to invest in Python and R as the building blocks of their careers.

Overcoming the Upskilling Problems

Fortunately, there are ways for organizations to overcome the obstacles of upskilling. Consider these options:

Adopt a Lifelong Learning Policy in Your Organization

Among the most crucial workforce development strategies is fostering a lifelong learning policy. If you’re curious about how to develop a workforce strategy of lifelong learning, make regular on-the-job training a part of the organization’s culture. 

You can encourage employees to work toward learning new skills through cross-training or allow them to exchange roles with other employees periodically. The more employees know about other departments and positions, the more skills they’ll develop to benefit the organization.

Offer Total Transparency and Training

All upskilling courses should be completely transparent in their services. Before signing up for a class, students should understand what they’ll learn and what they can expect from the program.

Ideally, all courses should outline the class structure and list any supplemental items, like reading materials, quizzes, or practice guides. If a business asks its employees to take the training to further its workforce development strategies, it should ensure the course aligns with its business needs.

Have Interactive Classrooms and Practical Settings

Students learn best when course training is captivating and offers many opportunities to apply skills. Rather than drawn-out, static footage of someone drawing on a whiteboard, students are choosing more interactive and engaging programs that capture their interest.

Immediately following the training session, students should apply the skills they learn through quizzes and practical applications. The more opportunity they have to practice the skills, the more likely they are to retain them.

Provide Engaging Content

Quality upskilling programs know how important engaging content is. Rather than allowing the instructor to drone on for the length of the training session, include regular opportunities for interaction and practice.

Instructors can introduce pop quizzes following a short teaching session or ask students to work on practice applications once they learn a fundamental part of the skill. The more they engage students and force them to apply the knowledge they’re learning, the better their outcome from the course will be.

Offer Real-World Applications

As students go through the course, make sure to offer lots of opportunities for real-world training. Real-world training allows students to practice their skills in a setting that is relevant to them. 

Rolai offers a fully customizable solution for businesses seeking to upskill their employees in specific areas. Because we form partnerships with your organization and tailor your program to your company, your employees will immediately walk away from the training with the skills and training they need to support your organization.

The Upskilling Program Should Meet the Needs of the Market

Some skills are more in-demand than others, especially in the data science and tech world, where there is a tremendous drive toward learning modern skills like machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. Future jobs will require employees to possess skills in these areas, particularly if they work in fields like engineering and IT.

When looking for opportunities for upskilling, take a holistic look at your organization’s current and future needs. Determine where your employee’s skills are lacking and make a concentrated effort to offer your workers training in these areas. 

Senior leadership should also take a holistic look at the future vision for the organization to determine what skills employees need the most. All high-performing and engaged employees should have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary for the future. This way, they’ll be in a better position to propel the organization toward its objectives.

How to Develop a Workforce Strategy for Upskilling

If you see a lack of skills in your department or organization, you’ll want to create workforce strategies for upskilling quickly. A lack of skills can put your company at a significant competitive disadvantage, especially in today’s high-performing environment.

Corporate upskilling programs, like those provided by Rolai, can prepare your workers for what’s to come. Rolai offers numerous courses in various topics, including data analytics, natural language processing, and AI. We take a comprehensive approach, first teaching the skill and then applying it to real-world scenarios where students can practice its use.

Once you have your workforce development strategies in place, adhere to them. Make learning a regular part of the workforce culture by encouraging staff to undergo frequent training. The skills they learn will serve your organization and support your employees.

Upskilling is an ongoing process, and learning never truly ceases. Nothing remains static, and those who understand that and adopt a principle of fluidity will see the best results.

As sales legend Zig Ziglar once said, “It is not what happens to you that determines how far you go in life; it is what you do with what happens to you.”

December 01, 2022