The New Employee Reskilling and Upskilling Revolution

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution on our heels, more and more jobs will be eliminated; require upskilling or reskilling to keep the labor force stable instead of turning and churning.

In January 2020, the World Economic Forum announced the launch of Reskilling Revolution – a multi-stakeholder initiative aiming to provide 1 billion people with better education, jobs, and skills by 2030.  Their plan – to future-proof workers from technological change and help economies by providing new skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It was designed to provide businesses and economies with the skilled workforce required to fill millions of new roles which will be created, shifts in the global economy, and transitions toward sustainability.

With the world moving deeper into the ‘new normal’ and technology changing by the nano-second – not the minute, hour, or day – companies are accepting the realization of the importance of upskilling and reskilling.

For many, this was never a consideration since education was considered a perk rather than a talent development that would serve the company in a variety of ways well into the future. In short, like companies paying for an individual’s MBA, education was merely used to drive employee loyalty and engagement.

That said, companies are beginning to invest in upskilling and reskilling employees. Here are a few of the many currently invested:

* Amazon
* Price Waterhouse
* GM
* Mastercard
* AT&T

Furthermore, companies are becoming more eager not only to develop employee hard skills but soft skills such as communication, relationship-building, and decision-making, for example. Skills that will come to the fore as absolutely necessary with the myriad changes emerging in the future. Some are even considering offering coaching and full-scale training as well.

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for These Changes:

1) Research each company you plan to apply to. Discover whether training
is included as part of the job description instead of a benefit; and gather the details. There may be some requirements to qualify.

2) Upskill or Reskill. Search for information on upskilling or reskilling. Which skills do you possess which can be repurposed and redeveloped to create a new career? Find classes or training to help you move in this direction.

3) Make a Career Pivot Pointe. A work shift is slowly emerging. With the work-world changing, work and career experts say it’s time to more than just consider career changes you’ve had in mind.  Today it’s called career pivoting. It’s time to take the bull by the horns, pivot, and move forward. For example – had you thought about changing industries but worried about leaving your current job which during the pandemic you discovered you were burned out on. Have you considered moving to a city that supports an industry you are interested in joining? Or moving to a state with colleges and universities you can attend and receive your degree in a specialized area, for example.

4)  Get Certified if you have an in-demand skill. Today, certifications are accepted by most companies and considered as valuable as a degree. There are thousands of areas in which you can become certified as well as online courses. And, remember, today people with certifications are paid well – if not more – than those with degrees.

5) Work on your Soft Skills. While there is training available online since Soft Skills are personal skills you’ve developed throughout your life, regularly practice them and consider learning new Soft Skills. Current top Soft Skills companies are looking for in employees are:

* Critical Decision-Making
* Team Building
* Communications Skills
* Relationship Building
* Problem Solving

Over the last few years, there is a growing awareness the academic world is failing to provide the education required for working in the business world.

While a good college education is valuable, in today’s ‘new normal’ to move forward, a graduate needs to learn a skill; or several for that matter.

The Edelman Trust Barometer stated, in a 2020 study:

*  58% of respondents feared losing their jobs due to lack of training;
*  84% said it was important for their CEO or leader to speak out on training for   
    jobs in the future.

In short, people are putting trust in their employers to help them navigate the future. But whether they provide it is another question.

It’s a fact – to execute their plans companies will need to set in motion employee upskilling and reskilling. Not only is it cost-effective – the fact is training and learning aren’t perks – they are necessities for helping employees continue to provide top performance.

A word of caution – don’t wait for them to do so. Take responsibility and make your own Career Pivot Pointe to ensure your success.


Jean L. Serio
Jean L. Serio
JEAN is a certified Human Resources professional with more than twenty-five years of experience in recruitment, interviewing, job training and development, resume, and LinkedIn Profile writing and review. The last 5 as a Certified Interview Success Coach, CEIC. With a passion for training, she guides others in first understanding their skills and strengths and how to best present themselves during an interview to help them secure the job. Her skills and expertise are also utilized to optimally prepare clients for confidently engaging with HR, hiring pros and decision-makers, and guiding them in how to enthusiastically and professionally respond during an interview rather than fearing the process. Her solid experience, coupled with expertise in the unspoken workings of the interview and hiring process, helps individuals prepare to present their achievements, skills, and expertise not only in a professional but compelling, way using stories of achievements which help the interviewee engage the interviewer or hiring a pro to effectively respond to questions to help raise their get-hired opportunities. Jean has been featured in Forbes;; BLR-Daily HR Advisor; ERE’s Daily HR Advisor; Next Ave. division of PBS; Medium; Entrepreneur HQ Magazine; Self Growth; beBee International, CBS, and NBC online and more. Her past has also included workshop trainings for HR, hosting hiring forums, speaking at job conferences for both job seekers and hiring pros, and more.

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  1. Totally agree, Charlotte Wittenkamp. Companies are better off when they educate their employees or at least refer them to available classes in their area of expertise. Also when you consider, for example, A.I. will produce 2.9 trillion in business value Gartner Research projects by the end of 2021, you can understand why companies are rushing to adapt it. And why it will slowly and steadily become necessary for those who return to the workplace to understand and get skilled in this invaluable area; or at least a related one.. That said, eventually companies will – although resignedly – ‘bite the bullet’ and begin offering various classes to upskill employees. That is – if they want to survive and thrive.

  2. So glad that you address how training and development used to be something companies naturally did because it served their needs for more skilled employees.
    Companies that invest in their employees have rarely had a problem with retaining the employees they wanted if they could align the company’s vision for the employee with where the person wanted to go.
    Not investing in employees is a signal that “we use and abuse.”

    It is as if the “If you want to go fast, go alone” culture has been applied to whole organizations – wanting their employees to go fast and alone. But organizations want to go far – so they need for their employees also to want to go far. And that is better done together, with individual and company goals aligned.