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A Critical Success Factor: Upskilling or Reskilling the Workforce!

A Critical Success Factor: Upskilling or Reskilling the Workforce!

By 2020, 86% of companies with a workforce of over 5,000 employees plan to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT) into their operations, while 64% and 56% of the larger organisations will adopt Artificial Intelligence(AI) and blockchain-powered technology, respectively.

Jobs which can be automated are being automated with AI-powered technologies. IoT and cloud computing are transforming the way organisations communicate, access and store data. Data Science is becoming an indispensable part of organisations, who quite simply cannot compete professionally without the valuable insights that help them make impactful decisions.

It is only normal to expect that all this has led organisations to wonder if they should retain their existing workforce, or hire new talent that comes equipped with skills across these new sets of technologies. Well, it is a tricky question, to be honest, one that requires weighing up of both the options at hand.

Companies taking the route of hiring new talent have noticed that it is quite hard to source such talent in the first place. There are not enough professionals who are skilled in cutting-edge technologies. Over 50,000 jobs in data science and machine learning are left unclaimed due to the shortage of skilled professionals. Four thousand job openings are lying vacant in the field of Artificial Intelligence. A whopping 140,000 jobs are vacant in the IT sector due to a lack of ‘job-ready professionals’.

To give you a different perspective on the talent supply-demand scenario, a study by Belong shows that for every 1,000 data scientist opportunities, there are only 800 professionals available who can avail them, and hence, data science scores a lowly 0.8 on the Talent Supply Index (TSI). 

Coming to the other option, that is reskilling the existing workforce, the challenge is based on finding the right technology field for an individual, so that they are comfortable when it comes to upskilling in that field. Also, it is challenging for organisations to understand how flexible their employees are when it comes to reskilling or learning new-age skills.

Changing Workforce Scenario

The landscape of the current workforce is shifting though, as companies are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of reskilling their workforce, owing to the inflated costs of hiring new talent and a talent supply pipeline that is running dry quite quickly.

Take for example Amazon, who have begun considering the benefits of reskilling, and are now mapping out career paths for employees to rise from their warehouses to the data centres. Workers can now enrol themselves into a 16-week-long certification program that trains them with the relevant skills. This is advantageous to not only the employees but the e-commerce giant as well, as employees get to double their earnings and pick up skills for future jobs and Amazon utilises their skills to enhance business operations.

Financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. too has joined the reskilling bandwagon. They have collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Initiative on the Digital Economy to identify and forecast future skill sets that will not just define the job roles, but also develop the right training programs that can upskill their employees for those roles.

The advantages of reskilling are immense:

  • Reskilling employees is a smaller investment than hiring and training a new worker
  • Employees can consider the firm to be truly invested when it comes to their careers 
  • Companies can gain a competitive edge in an increasingly technology-driven world
  • Also, reskilling can go a long way towards creating a great brand image for an organisation

Nevertheless, to really make things work, it requires a coming together of ambitions from employees and employers alike. Certif-ID hopes to be just the platform to take that merger forward, as it connects employees looking to upskill to imminent training institutions that can equip them with skills across cutting-edge technologies. 

Organisations can also confer employees with blockchain-powered digital certifications that can be used to verify their credentials as they move across vertices in the organisation.