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Jobseekers want upskilling as part of deal

Jobseekers won’t take the job unless upskilling is part of the deal

Whose responsibility is upskilling? Ask employers and they suggest employees but ask professionals and many say the organisation they work for should be accountable. That is one key finding from research carried out by recruiting experts Hays amongst 1,253 professionals and 951 employers.

A massive 96% of the professionals surveyed consider upskilling as ‘important’ or ‘very important’, 84% would not consider a role that lacked skills development and 47% wouldn’t join an organisation that didn’t offer formal training opportunities.

For some, not receiving time off to attend seminars or conferences (34%), a lack of coaching (27%) or mentorships (24%) and not providing time off for university or TAFE studies (18%) are deal breakers.

Interestingly, 64% said they were more likely to join and stay with an organisation that uses the latest technology.

In contrast, 77% of the employers Hays surveyed said they were more likely to shortlist a qualified candidate who regularly upskills themselves and 59% actively encourage employees to become self-directed learners.

“There’s a push-pull between employers and employees when it comes to upskilling,” said Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“Today’s jobseekers are far more likely to judge a potential job role on how well it will position them for career longevity. Given how quickly technology changes, the challenge is to stay employable by keeping skills relevant. Employers that provide on-the-job training are therefore becoming very attractive to jobseekers.

“With highly-skilled professionals in demand, it could be that bosses who ensure their employees’ continuing learning will gain the upper hand in securing top talent.”

A report by Deloitte, Careers and learning, Real time, all the time, suggests the half-life of learned skills is falling rapidly while the longer working life of people means “the concept of career is being shaken to its core.

“In the past, employee learning was to gain skills for a career; now, the career itself is a journey of learning,” the report authors said.

But the question remains: Who should be responsible for keeping people upskilled? Individuals or employers?

“Given that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping how every industry and profession operates via digital transformation and technologies such as AI, the answer is probably a combination of employers hiring in active learners with a demonstrated history of upskilling, while also training up their existing employees,” Jason said.

London School of Economics Professor Lynda Gratton suggests in the book, the 100-Year Life, Living and Working in the Age of Longevity, that government should also play a role by “schooling” people throughout their lives but employers must drive skill building at work and help employees understand their options to skill up no matter their age or career stage.

For Hays’s insights on how to upskill, see Looking for a job? Three in four employers prioritise continuous learners.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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