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Why bridging the skills gap is beneficial for both workers and businesses

By Ben Madden

In today’s competitive marketplace, standing out can be difficult. However, upskilling and reskilling can show both businesses and consumers that you’re the right choice when they’re looking to hire or make a purchase.

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, staying ahead of the curve can help you/your workforce stand out in the world of work. Read on to learn more about why it’s important to bridge the skills gap!

What is the difference between upskilling and reskilling?

You may have heard about upskilling and reskilling, and on the surface, they sound like similar concepts. However, they’re actually quite different. Upskilling involves building on your current skillset and expanding on what you’re already able to do. For example, if you’re working in social media and specialise in Facebook advertising, and you complete further study so you’re able to manage and create Linkedin ads, then you’re upskilling. People often look to upskill if they’re looking to progress in their current role. 

Reskilling, on the other hand, involves learning a completely different set of skills. If you work in marketing, for example, then learning how to code would be considered reskilling. You’re more likely to reskill if you’re looking to move into a different career, rather than looking to move up the career ladder in your current field.

Is upskilling the same as training?

While they both achieve a similar end goal, training and upskilling are slightly different. Training involves building someone’s skillset from scratch, and usually refers to the process of giving a new employee the skills and knowledge they require to be successful in their new role. Training may be a costly process depending on what skills/knowledge a new hire requires, and there is always the risk that they leave after completing the training.

Upskilling, on the other hand, involves building on an employee’s current skillset. When compared to training, it can be a lot quicker to upskill a current employee rather than hire and train a new one.

Short courses from Upskilled can help you get your employees’ skillsets up to scratch in a matter of weeks or months, giving you the flexibility and expertise that your business needs to succeed in a competitive field.

As an employee, both training and upskilling are beneficial, especially if you’re looking to work your way up the career ladder. Training can help you learn the hard skills needed to succeed, while upskilling can deliver a mix of hard and soft skills like collaboration, problem solving and creativity.

It’s worth discussing with your employer whether you should enrol in a training program or commit to upskilling by completing various short courses. 

What are the benefits of upskilling and reskilling a workforce?

If you’ve ever felt like your workforce can achieve more (or if you’re looking for a way to get ahead), then upskilling and reskilling your workforce can help you show your commitment to your employees and increase productivity. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

A GetApp study found that 77% of employee respondents thought that employers should be training staff in extra digital skills, and if you’re a business that is looking to move into a more digital space then consider providing digital upskilling and/or reskilling. 

Deciding whether you want your workforce to upskill, reskill or both depends on the outcomes you’re trying to achieve. Upskilling can help you succeed in the short-term, while a mix of upskilling and reskilling can improve your business’s flexibility, especially if employee turnover ever becomes an issue.

The benefits of upskilling a workforce include:
  • Increased employee engagement – employees know you’re invested in their success
  • Increased productivity – more skills means less roadblocks
  • Increased workplace morale 
  • Improved creativity and problem solving 
  • Increased collaboration between employees

Reskilling, on the other hand, may involve a bigger initial time commitment as it requires employees to build an entirely new skillset, rather than topping up the skills/knowledge that they already possess.

Of course, if employees reskill, then they have a vast and diverse set of skills that can help them succeed in multiple sectors of your business, so it’s worth considering whether high-performing employees should complete some reskilling.

The benefits of reskilling a workforce include:
  • Cross-pollination between different departments, which increases collaboration
  • A business-wide appreciation for the types of work other employees do
  • Reduced hiring and training costs (you can place employees in other departments to fill skill gaps when needed)
  • Increased ability to retain the best talent even if business strategy changes
No matter whether you decide that it’s time for employees to upskill, reskill or both, the benefits outweigh the time and financial investments that your company will make – if you commit to staying the course. Employees and employers can both benefit when they attempt to bridge the skills gap, especially as the world of work continues to evolve. Future-proofing your business/career prospects has never been more important.

Looking to bridge the skills gap?

Upskilled offers a range of nationally recognised qualifications in a range of sectors that can help workers get ahead in their career. You can learn more about Upskilled’s offerings here. If you’re an employee or employer, you can get in touch with Upskilled’s education consultants to learn more!


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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.