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What is upskilling and why should it matter?

Upskilling seems to be getting traction, but what is this all about? Where to start?


It’s essential to learn new skills to remain competitive so workers can future-proof themselves against workforce disruptions, such as automation and the redundancies that follow.


Some surveys circulating indicate that almost 40% of workers fear their jobs will become obsolete in five years. Sources from the World Economic Forum state that upskilling is crucial to the recovery from Covid-19 and could also boost global GDP by over $6 trillion and create more than 5 million new jobs by 2030.



So, what is upskilling? How do you upskill?

First, anyone can upskill, and there are many resources to help. The main goal is to be a more effective employee, stay relevant and competitive in a particular industry, and perhaps get noticed for compensation increases (raises), recognition, and more opportunities.


Upskilling refers to those smaller skill gaps that are always required to perform a function, like learning Excel to manage a budget or a project, creating tables in Word, and generally adding on to an existing piece of knowledge to enhance specific outcomes. These minor skills learned can improve productivity and make you more efficient. Subsequently, this can lead to better quality work, raises, or promotions.


You can upskill through a variety of media. We can pick tools that are generally free and just as good, or if not better than paid training. Simple Internet searches will yield an enormous wealth of resources, so definitely utilize these before deciding whether to enroll in a paid course.


There is a definite correlation between those employees that actively seek out and upskill themselves and additional opportunities versus those that are not making an effort.



Added benefits of upskilling

One of the most profound benefits of upskilling is the higher job engagement one will feel when tying-in the training and skills-upgrading to a specific task, completing the task and reflecting on the value that one invested. We have all had to complete those HR-related training sessions and often wondered how this contributes to productivity and seldom adds value but by taking charge and doing something that you know will aid in your job completion is quite satisfying.



How else to upskill?

One can also upskill through other methods, including job shadowing or volunteering outside your company. Job shadowing is a great way to fill in gaps and learn from experienced employees, and volunteering is great for other reasons beyond professional development.




Upskilling is vital to the health of your job. Utilize free resources first, and seek out job shadowing or volunteering opportunities to fill in the gaps.


Our goal was to provide an overview of upskilling and add some value through examples and positive takeaways. If you feel we reached this goal, please share it with someone and have a great day!