- Nearly two-thirds of employees will independently find training opportunities to advance or maintain their skills this year, according to a new report by staffing firm Randstad.
- Forty-three percent of respondents to the group's survey said they will look for ways to further their technical skills in areas such as data analysis, coding, writing and computer programming. Fewer, 41%, want to improve soft skills like communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership and time management.
- Of the respondents who do not intend to seek training opportunities, 22% cited lack of funds and 36% a lack of time as explanations.
It appears employers and employees are in agreement about the importance of upskilling and where it is most in-demand.
As employers combat a tight labor market, they have prioritized training workers already on their payrolls to fill open positions. Meanwhile, workers have expressed a thirst for learning: Among those who receive training monthly, 80% report wanting more, according to a Cerego study.
Employers — in desperate need of workers equipped with soft skills — listed listening skills, attention to detail, communication and critical thinking as most-needed soft skills in a Cengage report. And it seems employees and job seekers are working to gain technological skills, which most professionals lacked in mid-2018, one report indicated.
Some companies are funneling resources toward training opportunities for workers, including by partnering with colleges and universities. The industry is responding with scalable education programs tailored for employers' needs.
One example is Guild Education, which has created an online marketplace for institutions and employers to connect workers to postsecondary education. Walmart, for instance, is working with Guild to offer its employees the opportunity to earn a degree from one of three nonprofit universities.
Colleges themselves are offering more structured education options for employers. Among them, Purdue University Global recently struck a deal with Papa John's to cover tuition for its corporate employees. And the nonprofits Arizona State University and National University System in the last few months have each undertaken separate ventures to connect employers with workforce education opportunities.