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Upskilling opportunities few and far between since pandemic erupted

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Trueffelpix)

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, which also meant they needed to learn new skills to maintain productivity. However, a new report from workforce upskilling platform Degreed claims businesses haven’t exactly been rushing to invest in upskilling.

Based on a poll of roughly 5,000 workers in eight markets around the world, the report states that the pandemic increased demand for new skills among most workers (60 percent). At the same time, almost half of businesses (46 percent) have offered fewer upskilling opportunities in the past six months.

As a result, employees are less confident they can get the job done, and the perceived skills gap is only widening.

Almost half of the polled respondents believe their current skillset will “die out” by 2025. They’re becoming more stressed, less productive and their performance is spiralling downwards.

Skills in the technology and telecoms industries, as well as finance and engineering, seem to be most at risk, according to the report. Workers in India, France and Brazil are most at risk of not having the right skills to continue being relevant in their industry. The report also says that those in IT and HR have the most endangered skills.

“Despite the urgent need to upskill, businesses can’t make informed decisions as they don’t have the data they need,” said Chris McCarthy, CEO at Degreed.

“Up-to-date information on the workforce’s skills, if it exists at all, is often spread across multiple outdated HR systems used once or twice a year for things like compensation and benefits. Without this data, businesses can’t make smart decisions about the skills they need for growth, and even if these can be sourced from existing workers within their organization or need to be learned.”