Introducing the skills obsession for training providers

02 May, 2022| Jos Berden| 4 min read

The learniverse seems to be heavily preoccupied with re- and upskilling. As with any topic or trend that gets a lot of attention really quickly, questions should be asked about why that is happening, if all that buzz is appropriate and what should be done about it.

For the next couple of months, we will explore this renewed skills obsession through our channels. In this piece, we are going to tell you what you can expect from us.

Why training providers should care about the current skills obsession

Influential institutions like the World Economic Forum, McKinsey, PwC and more wrote thick reports in 2021 about the problem the world is facing around a shortage in skills.

Employers see that their employees don’t have the right skills for work to come, employees see themselves changing jobs that require new skills sooner than later and the pandemic has had a massive impact on how we work and what skills are needed for that. These are a few large scale movements that all (at the least) predict a huge demand in re- and upskilling.

This has trickled down into the learniverse this year, in several ways. First, investments in Edtech are truly exploding, with analysts saying that soon the popular phrase ‘every company will be a fintech company’ could soon turn into ‘every company will be an edtech company’. Secondly, it’s clearly on the hearts and minds of learning professionals worldwide. The Global Sentiment Survey has re- and upskilling as the unmistakable hottest topic for two years straight now. Finally, governments of many countries have put in place funding and other financial perks to help people (re-)educate themselves.

If there is one group of organisations or types of companies that should be on top of this ‘thing’ around skills, it’s training providers. Their core product is providing the best possible training, or to put it in other words: helping people learn new skills. Their role is crucial. So, if re- and upskilling is such a challenge, maximising the effectiveness of training and learning is more important than ever.

How we will explore the skills obsession

We will be asking a lot of questions. To experts, to ourselves, to you, to the universe... Not completely at random, but somewhat structured around subtopics. Hopefully, at the end of this period, around august, we will have to come to a conclusion about how training providers should handle this skills obsession.

Expect various content pieces, like blogs, interviews, case studies and more. Also, we will share, review and recommend research and reports. Last, but not least, we would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on the topics and chime in.

Our aNewLetter is the main channel we will be using, and subscribing to it will ensure you remain regularly updated. All main content will be available on our blog page as well. You can also follow us on social media for updates as well.

The questions we'll answer about the skills obsession

During the coming months we will try to answer one central question: “How should training providers handle the current skills obsession?”

We will be exploring the following elements:
  • How to re- and upskill in a hybrid learning world?
  • What’s the role of training providers when it comes to the skills obsession?
  • Who’s responsible for improving skills?
  • Re- and upskilling in a specific industry, such as soft and hard skills
  • How about the skills of the learning professional?

Ger's two cents on the skills obsession

“As a learning professional at a training provider, you might feel like all this talk about ‘reskilling and upskilling’ is a bit off-topic for you. We can’t help but feel that’s dismissing it too easily. Sure, your (and our…) core focus lies more on making learning effective and engaging instead of these macro level discussions. But shouldn’t those two things influence each other?

Global institutions, politics and multinational corporations sticking their noses in learning can make you wary that it’s all big business and only focussed on commercial success. But scaling the volume of training and learning should not mean the quality and impact comes second. Not on our watch!

Now that learning (and development) is higher up on the agenda, this means there’s fertile ground for all training providers to show how skills training is done right. How to make it impactful and how to make best use of learning technology. Impactful learning is effective learning. Effective learning is long term efficient learning. And efficient learning is scalable. See? They connect.

Whether or not the skills gap is real and if this talk about skills is rightfully an obsession isn’t the most important thing. It is making sure that the increased interest and demand for learning is handled correctly. Pioneers in learning - like you, are needed. Time to join this discussion.”

Creative thinker Wants to read people's minds

Jos Berden

A questioner and listener. The perfect combination of a pragmatic and idealist.

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