Job-centric upskilling

The new workforce development imperative

We are currently in a period of a massive reallocation of labour. No one knows precisely what the future will look like, or what the jobs of the future are going to be, but enhanced skills will likely be a crucial part of the recovery. The pandemic has accelerated the push toward more digital and virtual workplaces, bringing the “future of work” into the present more rapidly than expected. However, it’s not just high-tech companies whose workforces should adapt to the growing presence of technology. From financial services to government, technology is reshaping the demands of work, and job-centric upskilling can help organisations bring the skills they need into the workplace of the future.

A move toward job-centric upskilling reflects a shift in philosophy; instead of focusing on the job-seeker, it’s about the available jobs and the skills required to successfully do those. By preparing people for jobs with specific employers rather than taking a generalist approach to training, the job seekers will have greater success in the labour market. In fact, skills training is only part of the journey to success. Getting the job seeker employed is important, but real success requires that individuals thrive in their jobs, and the organisation is pleased with their performance. In most cases, job-centric upskilling doesn’t involve generalised training—it trains with a specific job in mind. Moreover, the initial training is followed by maintaining a connection with not only the job seeker (through on-the-job support) but also with the hiring company, to measure success months down the line.

One key aspect of job-centric upskilling is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of both Government organisations and job seekers. The balance between training, support, and measurement can change based on the candidate’s experience and demands of the job. Job-centric upskilling can help workers who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing them for jobs in expanding sectors of the economy. Because these workers likely have good basic competencies but need to be trained on jobs they haven’t done before, the training element of job-centric upskilling will predominate for such workers.

From a public sector perspective, at all levels departments are increasingly looking to evolve the skills of their workforce. With the rise in technologies and COVID-19 disruptions reshaping work, it is even more important that the public sector reimagine their workforce plans with a view to facilitating employees to become agile, resilient and willing to embrace change.

This report discusses three scenarios that demonstrate how job-centric upskilling can be adapted to very different situations.

Scenario 1: Reskilling a pandemic-displaced worker
Scenario 2: New-skilling an incumbent worker
Scenario 3: Upskilling a nontraditional/disadvantaged worker

To learn more, read the full report here.


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