Talking about skills: Why are we talking so much about learning in companies right now?

There is no doubt that learning and development has been placed on the strategic agenda. Everyone talks about the importance of learning, skills management, upskilling and reskilling. It is of course fantastic that so many people are contributing to the dialog and highlighting the importance of development.

However, despite all the talk about development, many strategists and researchers believe that the labor market does not match the rapid pace of development in the world, which is constantly generating new roles and tasks. We already have a skills shortage in our companies. There are simply not enough candidates with the right skills. This is where the importance of ‘upskilling and reskilling’ comes in, as a way to retain and develop the skills of existing employees. But how did we end up here, where employee development is more important than ever? And what are all the concepts we use when talking about learning and development in companies? How is it connected, how should you think and what should you do?

Four reasons why we are talking about learning right now:

1. The fast pace of the world of digitalization, automation and new sustainable solutions is affecting our roles and tasks.

According to the World Economic Forum, half of all employees will need to develop or completely change their skills in the next 5 years to keep their jobs. It is because of this need that the terms “Upskilling and Reskilling”, among others, are widely used.

2.Globally happening “The Great resignation” in which millions of employees resign and change jobs in a short period of time. As a result, companies and leaders are starting to think about what they can do to retain and capture key skills for the future. Some of the reasons for the redundancies have been poor leadership and few development opportunities. This has led to a focus on the development of leaders and staff, and the offer of development is highly ranked in recruitment strategies. For example, a study by McKinsey shows that 1 in 3 companies now invest more in learning and development than before.

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3. Because of the realization that the world is changing rapidly and people are starting to move and demand more, the strategic skills management is in vogue as a way to proactively prevent skills shortages in the company. It is about identifying, retaining, recruiting, engaging and developing employees based on skills to ensure that the company has the right skills in the short and long term.

4. The Swedish parliament has also understood the need to develop skills more quickly when they passed a transition study support to increase flexibility, adaptability and security in the labor market. The support aims to provide all employees with better conditions for skills development throughout their working lives, thereby strengthening Sweden’s competitiveness.

So we can conclude that there is a fairly logical reason why everyone is talking about learning and development. Companies simply have to invest in it in order to survive, retain their employees and have the right skills to cope with changes in the world around them – now there is even support to do so. This means that companies have a great responsibility as enablers and that employees must take self-leadership in updating their skills to remain relevant in the labor market.

Sources and read more:

On skills management

The upskilling and reskilling trend

The Great resignation

About transition study support Tereza Kennedy Olsen CEO, Creative Director & Founder, Atom Collaboration

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