Upskilling: Give me the chance to save my job

PwC has recently published a new study called ‘Upskilling Hopes and Fears’, based on a survey of 22,000 people globally, of whom  2,004 were UK adults in the age range 18-65 (retirees were not included). Their findings show that 73% of workers would welcome the opportunity to expand their knowledge of new workplace technology while 54% of those questioned said they would be happy to learn new skills or completely retrain in order to improve their future employability. But many UK workers say their employers are not offering opportunities to upskill. People fear automation in a growing digital world will lead to fewer jobs and this lack of investment in the workforce is breeding mistrust of employers among workers.

The research also highlights disparities in upskilling opportunities by gender, education, and age:

  • Over half (54%) of men surveyed say their employer is giving them the chance to learn new skills, as opposed to only 45% of women. Over half of women (55%) say they are offered no opportunities at all.
  • 56% of university graduates say they are offered them, whereas only 41% of those educated to school leaver level say the same.
  • 64% of workers aged 18-34 say they are offered opportunities, compared with 48% of 35-54 year olds and 41% of ages 55 and over.

These results highlight the need for organisations to look seriously at offering upskilling opportunities for staff – particularly in the UK where three-quarters (73%) of workers would take the opportunity to better understand or use technology if they were given the option by their employer.

Published: 25 September 2019

Article Sections: Miscellaneous

Tags: upskill, research, training


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