Do you also have those colleagues who often complain about not being promoted for a better position in the company even though they believe that they are totally competent? Or do you feel bad for those middle-aged colleagues who are stuck in junior positions for a long time due to lack of proficiency and knowledge? Well, someone from the White House has been watching us. The Call of Action from the President of the United States in the White House Upskill Summit significantly raised the focus on serious training need of the largest economy in the world.
What is it about?
“To make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills. America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, trained the best workforce in the world. We were ahead of the curve. But, other countries caught on. And in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to up our game. We need to do more.” – President Obama (Source: Whitehouse.gov)
This statement was made by Barack Obama during the 2015 State of the Union Address back in January. The American Government has recently shown its commitment to upskill their workforce to compete in a 21st century economy. This blog-post duo is aimed at providing a clear idea of the initiative and detailing how e-learning could serve as the best tool to support the American President’s most happening proposal. In the current post, we’ll try to understand what drove the need for this initiative and a little about its target audience.
Why does the Economic Giant need Upskilling?
The dictionary says upskill means adding additional skills to one’s profile that can help one grow professionally. But most of us believe that America has got one of the finest workforces in the world, don’t’ we? If that’s the case, is this Upskill Initiative an additional support or a part of the political agenda?
Let’s look at some statistics to get a clear picture of what’s happening here. For a start, here are the findings from the Workforce Strategies survey conducted by the College for America in 2014. In the survey that involved 400 employers around the country, the employers have clearly shown their inclination towards talent development over new hiring. The numbers say around 71% of employers would rather develop current staff into management roles compared to hiring someonefrom the outside. Then what is stopping them from getting promoted? Why do we get to see many new hires every year and companies spending a good sum of money and efforts on induction trainings, trying to nurture their new entries.
The survey has also revealed the burning problem of employers. 87% of employers say that the employees are missing promotable skills in their workforce. This forces them to go for new hiring. The top challenge for the organizations regardless of the nature of their work is the need to build talent and leadership, which calls for the need of Upskilling.
Who needs Upskilling?
Research says that the skill development priority is not top-down but bottom-up. The employers believe that the people at the entry-level need the maximum amount of training to be able to progress to the middle class and from there on.
Delloitte in collaboration with an international non-profit organization has developed a guide for employers in their efforts to upskill their workforce in an efficient way. The guide reveals that the focus is mostly on frontline workers.
There are about 24 million frontline workers in the United States who lack appropriate skills to move on with their career. The list includes call center workers, assembly line workers, construction laborers, health care executives, etc. All these people suffer from gaps that prevent them from advancing in their roles and functions. Even the President has expressed the need for providing training to the frontline workers and said the goal of the Upskill Initiative is to help every eligible worker of the United States earn a shot at reaching better paying jobs.
That’s it for this post. In the next post, we’ll try to decode the Vice President’s speech on this topic which reveals the best solution for this initiative, that is e-Learning and explore various possibilities of filling this massive skill gap through e-learning.
Hope you had a nice read. Please share your views in the comments section below.