How essential is it to upskill and reskill the employees right now?

When it comes to COVID-19, only a few stones remain unturned. Everything has been designed and searchable, from ‘how to make your own hand sanitizer,’ to timelines for Coronavirus. There is no way to tip-toeing around: for most workers at this time, safety at work is falling and the unemployment rate is increasing. A disgraceful reality we had to deal with was so much is out of our grasp of the world economy and of the labor market. The only thing any one of us can do is anticipate what is coming and prepare our next step strategically.  Now is as much an opportunity to familiarize the workers with upskilling and reskilling.

Reskilling vs. Upskilling

Reskilling and upskilling are vital resources to close today’s technology workforce’s skills gap. Upskilling requires the acquisition of new skills or new skills when reskilling means that new skills are learned to qualify or new skills are learned to allow staff to get new jobs in the same enterprise or elsewhere.

Reskilling concentrates on developing new skill sets so that people can qualify and improve their skills for the same work. In contrast to reskilling, upskilling needs only skills to improve a relevant function. Research programs often require a degree or a credential which is completed by individuals by corporate learning or external educational institutions. Employers wishing to launch training programmes have to define the necessary capabilities to utilize the emerging technology within their company.

Three skilling trends are likely to speed up after the crisis ends

Chief learning officers (CLOs) can renew their learning organizations by building digital training programs and creating an ecosystem of learning partners to produce and deliver digital content rapidly to a broad base of employees. In this respect, they have three trends to master.

1/New skills for the ‘distance economy’

In order to reduce the physical experiences, digitalisation speeds are increased by the crisis. This included seeking means of reinventing work and, in some situations, partial job breakdown and improvements in the manner of staff doing it.

For instance, years of digital development have occurred within weeks for the UK health system. In 2019, fewer than 1% of appointments were by camera, the vast majority of which were made personally. Now doctors evaluate 100% of patients on the phone with just about 7% consulting each other. With this transition, physicians need to be able to make accurate and secure remote diagnosis. Discussions now focus on how to stop this development after the pandemic.

Globally, for technological healthcare, a parallel trend is evolving. Telehealth firms have been seeking to close the gap for a long time in Indonesia, where four doctors per 10 000 residents are present (as compared with 42 out of 10 000 in Germany, the Weltbank says). The COVID-19 crisis is consolidating this trend as Indonesia’s government turns to these firms to deliver remote consultations and to get medications prescribed and delivered.

2/ Imbalances in talent supply and demand

For example, the pandemic has increased the e-commerce trend, not brick-and-mortar sales. Early signs coming from China indicate that the recession has led to new buyers, in particular, people aged 36 and over and inhabitants of smaller and less affluent towns, shopping more online. In Europe, 13% of customers said they plan to explore online e-tailer sites for the first time in early April. Many Chinese executives expected customers to step much more rapidly into e-competition at a virtual roundtable held in March.

Retail and food services are 42 percent of vulnerable employment in the United States and another two to three million people are employed in such industries, such as foodstuffs. Uber launched Work Hub in the United States, claiming it is a means to giant business drivers to find jobs, whether internally or through those (like CareGuide, Domino’s, and Shipt) that hire work during the current crisis.

Digital talent business networks allow businesses to overcome supply demand disruptions that serve as the link between recruiting companies and employees that may require a degree of reskilling. McKinsey presented Talent Exchange with analysis on the American employment market, which opened on April 6 and had 600,000 available positions on the site within two weeks.

3/ Modifications of supply chains

The crises could cause a consolidation of supply chains, as the supplies and manufacturing move closer to end users. When firms locate or regionalize them, they change the expertise required and where. Global industries will shift production closer to the sales point. Japanese automakers and electronic players in South Korea will speed up production diversification beyond China. In France, President Emanuel Macron has confirmed a pre-crisis program to relocate strategic industries back home. In the next 12 to 18 months, several key strategic or automatic operations are expected to develop domestic supply chains for essential goods and sectors, such as food and drug products.

These adjustments may include relocation to other countries in certain circumstances. Companies are able to raise talent globally (such as by talent exchanges), but they are then asked to ramp up their new positions. This is a problem that is restorative—but not one within a company.

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