Upskilling and Reskilling: Why is This Important for Mid-Career Workers?

In the past couple of years, you’ve noticed how your job has changed, didn’t you? Somehow, even the most mundane of jobs have been affected by the developments in technology. It is not so simple as it was back in the days. Imagine how extra hard it might be for mid-career workers. These are people who have built their careers on time-tested and formulaic tasks that they’ve been doing for the past decade.

The 2018 Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum predicted that by 2022, about 75 million jobs will be displaced in at least 20 major economies. But at the same time, some 133 million new jobs will be created. Many of these careers are in the automation, robotics, and information technology sectors. This digital transformation of jobs is pushing mid-career workers to upskill and reskill.

Thankfully, in places like Singapore, mid-career workers can find opportunities to upskill and reskill through SSG-funded educational courses. The government implemented this program to encourage mid-career Singaporeans to re-arm themselves with the skills necessary to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the industries they belong to. As more and more mid-career workers find themselves in tenterhooks whether they still have jobs in the next couple of years, the government swooped in with a specific program that’s responsive to each industry’s needs.

Reskilling vs Upskilling

There are two main methods of how employers can make sure their employees will fit in the new and emerging cultures in the corporate world. Reskilling requires that the employees learn new skills so they can do a different job that’s adjacent or close to what they are doing right now. Employers will train workers to adapt to a different post in the company. Upskilling, meanwhile, refers to teaching employees an entirely new set of skills to meet business needs.

In short, reskilling employees will create more versatile workers. They are ready to take on new roles in the company. Upskilling will lead to more specialized workers who are ready to adapt to the changing pace of the industries. But whether employers choose to train employees for upskilling or reskilling, both sides need to realize why this is an important step for companies. That will make it easier for both sides to make the necessary sacrifices and compromises in exchange for a better future for the company.

Meeting Future Demands

working in the office

The top reason why employers are trying to retrain their mid-career workers is to meet the future demands of the industry. Identifying the skills and talents already in your workforce, especially those who’ve been with you for years, will help you make a list of what you still need. This will then allow you to target the development of these key skills and talents. With a workforce ready to take on future demands, your company will be poised to succeed and thrive even if the industry goes in an overhaul.

Identify Hidden Skills

The acceptance of one’s weaknesses will enable companies to tap potential hidden skills by their employees. When a company takes on more challenging work, the employees will be forced to step up and unlock their potential skills. They may not even be aware that they have these skills. Training them and harnessing these skills are essential steps to building them up for more challenging work ahead. Companies do not have to “let go” of mid-career workers who aren’t as talented and skillful as fresh graduates in the talent pool.

Paves Way for Career Development

Unlike before, employees want to have a clear path of career development when they join a company. That increases their motivation to work harder. It is also one of the best ways to retain employees. But how can companies promote and move employees to different positions if they do not have the skills for the posts? How can they enjoy building their careers if they do not have the necessary skills to climb the corporate ladder?

That’s why upskilling and reskilling are both important. They equip mid-career workers with the skills that will help them contribute to the company now and in the future. Just because these mid-career workers are not as tech-savvy as young members of Generation Z doesn’t mean that they do not have a place in your company.

Mid-career workers are always looking for ways to remain relevant in their respective industries. They are not ready yet to relinquish their posts to Millennials and Generation Z. They need the support of their employers to give them the arsenal that will push them to become skillful and talented contributors to the company.

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