Benefits of upskilling

Upskilling is something that is becoming increasingly relevant, particularly in today's climate after the difficulties caused by the pandemic. Many individuals find themselves re-evaluating career paths or wanting to make better use of their spare time. For some, upskilling is also becoming necessary to survive in the job market, which is increasingly competitive and fast-paced.

The rising need for upskilling

Upskilling is the process of continuously learning new skill sets and competencies to complement experience already gained in the workplace. It could be like taking a management skills course for instance. Companies need employees who know how to use the latest technologies and can perform tasks that were previously done by other workers. Employees who do not upskill may risk losing their jobs. Employers should focus on upskilling current employees instead of hiring new ones, as upskilling existing staff saves time and money. Upskilling employees benefits them directly and can improve things like their communication skills and critical thinking.

By developing new skills, you increase your chances of finding a new job. Your skill set will be unique to you, making you stand out from others in the job postings you apply for and maybe in the eyes of your potential employers. You will stay relevant to the industry and won't lag behind those whose personal development and critical thinking are evolving. Research shows that upskilling boosts both your morale and productivity because it gives you the opportunity to do more varied work, gain a better understanding of your company, and focus on your individual goals. Upskilling doesn't just benefit people who want to leave a previous job, it also helps them to broaden their horizons and understand the business they work in.

Benefits of upskilling and reskilling from the employer’s perspective

Upskilling and reskilling can make employees happier and better workers. Employers can benefit from this by boosting staff morale, increasing productivity, and reducing costs. Programmes created by training providers can also help people move into new roles or develop new and more relevant skills like learning how to do project management. This can bring about a more interesting and varied career path, such as project manager. There are many factors driving workplace trends which include upskilling.

Some employees may want to learn new skills and get better jobs. They may also want to stay in their current companies longer. Retraining employees who already understand the company's structure, culture, and mission, is another great reason for companies to retain and reskill their workforce. Reskilling the current workforce allows them to invest in the long-term retention of staff. Companies will thus create a workforce that can not just address an immediate reskilling need but also meet future emerging skills gaps.

Employees often bring computer skills to the workplace, giving older workers an opportunity through upskilling to embrace a continuous learning strategy. Communication and teamwork are very important for every organisation, irrespective of its particular business operations. Employees need to be able to communicate effectively and collaborate with each other. Key skills are essential in any industry. There is a growing trend towards using computer skills to improve these skills and to encourage digital transformations. Technology can only take a business as far as the people who use it. Companies that ignore training employees on how to interact with customers will be unable to compete with companies that do invest in this training.

Striking the Balance between soft skills and technical skills

Soft skills are vital for successful work. Businesses need people who can communicate effectively, have problem-solving skills, network with others, and have analytical skills. Technology makes jobs easier but doesn't replace these analytical skills for problem-solving. Remote teams can face more communication challenges because they lose the ability to interact face-to-face, therefore the need to continue lifelong learning, even via remote means, is hugely important. 

Companies sometimes need to hire people who already know how to do their jobs. Businesses shouldn't always have to spend time and money training new employees to do problem-solving for the business. Instead, companies could train current employees to learn new skills, either in-house or perhaps via online courses. This makes sense because companies save money by having employees who already know what they're doing and may have decent time management. This may make problem-solving faster.

Upskilling is often seen as something you do after you've already been working for years or doing a job search. This isn't necessarily true. You can upskill yourself while still employed by your current employer. It's also possible to upskill yourself if you're self-employed or even unemployed. Skills gap analysis is used by companies to find employees who are qualified for certain positions. A skills gap analysis is needed because there are many people looking for jobs. Companies need to know what skills they should be hiring for and how many people are available to fill those positions. Technological advancement offers so many opportunities to embrace upskilling more and more often.

Transferable skills on the other hand are the skills that you use in every job, no matter the title or the field. Examples of transferable skills include technical skills such as coding, and data analysis as well as people skills like problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills, and the transferable skills, the list goes on. Having a transferable skill from a transferable skills list is beneficial. For instance, interpersonal skills may help one to improve their communication skills with their team because subtle cues will be picked up. This could help improve teamwork skills. Whereas proper time management will cause employees to become more efficient. That's one of the reasons why having strong transferable skills is important and such skills will develop with time in a current or new job.

Leveraging upskilling and transferable skills for career growth

Many people stay in the same job because they feel comfortable in it. But if you're stuck in a rut, there might be more opportunities elsewhere. You can take advantage of free courses to improve your skills and broaden your horizons. Many organisations offer valuable training that can help their workers in their jobs. Those who take part can meet new people and hopefully make new friends while broadening their overall network. If the individual has hidden talents, upskilling can be a great way to find them or develop desired skills for their jobs.

For the employer, a cohesive strategy can reap so many rewards. Before creating an upskilling plan, it's a good idea to conduct a discovery phase. Identify what skills you'll need from your current workforce down the road. Your goals should be to be proactive and stay ahead of your industry's future demands. Train and develop your workforce to meet these needs. Don't forget about the people who work hard but aren't productive or motivated. Show off your leadership skills by offering them upskilling opportunities as well. Accommodating different learning styles means providing a variety of ways to learn.

Employees should be given choices about how they learn best. They should also be empowered to decide what they need to improve on. This gives them the ability to focus their energy on improving specific skills. Reward employees for their upskilling efforts. Give them an incentive to complete training and development. Reinforce its importance. Balance upskilling by teaching an employee a transferable skill such as teamwork skill, listening skill, critical thinking skill, technical skill, and other hard skills and this will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. By upskilling and having portable skills, one may end up getting a job close to their dream job.

How to present these skills on the CV

After upskilling and learning transferable or portable skills, it is important for employees to present their earned skills on their CV in a way that clearly highlights their new abilities. It’s a good idea first to list out your arsenal of skills, having a clear view of all your strengths before planning your CV. Once you start writing your CV, keep in mind the following three main points to ensure a strong presentation:

  • Highlight both hard and soft skills: Include both the technical skills you have learned and the soft skills you have developed, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, in a “Proficiencies and Abilities” section of your CV.
  • List additional certifications and credentials: If you have obtained any new certifications or credentials as part of your upskilling such as industry-specific licences and professional affiliations like membership in a relevant professional organisation, be sure to mention them on your CV.
  • Describe the results of learning new skills: Use concrete examples to show how your new skills have helped you achieve goals or solve problems in your previous positions. For instance, you could mention how you used your new digital marketing skills to increase conversion rates or how you trained a team to improve their performance in the area of “Achievements.”

How to present these skills in an interview

When preparing for a job interview, a candidate should effectively showcase their newly acquired skills to increase their chances of securing the position. After upskilling, presenting these skills in an interview demands careful consideration. Tailor your presentation to the company's needs and demonstrate how your abilities can benefit them to make a strong impression. 

Begin by researching the company and the specific role you're applying for, allowing you to align your skills with the job requirements. During the interview, highlight the skills you have gained through upskilling, providing specific examples to illustrate your capabilities. Showcase any completed projects or obtained certifications to demonstrate your dedication to learning and applying new skills. Confidence is key; speak clearly and concisely, and be prepared to address any questions. Practise your presentation beforehand to ensure a confident and effective delivery. By following these ideas, you can effectively present your skills and increase your chances of success in the interview process.

Embrace new opportunities after upskilling with Michael Page

If you've recently completed upskilling and are ready to take on new roles, Michael Page is here to assist you in launching your career. We provide a diverse range of job opportunities across various industries and sectors to cater to your specific interests. 

Don't wait any longer. Begin your job search today with Michael Page and leverage our salary comparison tool and salary guide to confidently plan your next career move. We can simplify the process of finding the perfect job for you, and you can set up a job alert to stay informed about new roles as they arise.