The Reskilling Revolution

Still don’t have a business plan for employee upskilling or reskilling? Consider this data from the World Economic Forum (WEF):

  • Half of the global workforce will need to be reskilled by 2025.
  • Urgent investment in human capital is needed to create a fairer world.
  • Technology could radically transform 1.1 billion jobs over the next decade.

According to the World Economic Forum, upskilling and reskilling workers is important enough to launch a global initiative.   The Reskilling Revolution Initiative, launched in January 2020 at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting, aims to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030. (Source) 

In fact, the message is clear: jobs are changing, skills are altering, organisations and industries are converting, even the whole working environment is transforming, and it is happening extremely fast. Where will you be in this change?


What is the difference between upskilling and reskilling?

Upskilling is the process of teaching employees new skills to help them do their jobs better; for example, marketing professional’s upskilling in digital marketing.

Reskilling focuses on training employees new skills for transition to a new occupation, job or position.

Improving employee skills is not a new topic for management teams. Learning and development activities generally focus on this goal. On the other hand, providing the employee with brand new skills could be seen as distorting the focus of the talented employee.  Or management teams could think “Why do employees need a different set of job skills when they can do a job they do well and do it better?”

Until yesterday.

Today, employees have shown that anything can change; caught up in the great wave of resignation (great change, great fatigue, etc.) that is sweeping the world. Among them were those who wanted a new life, a different city, an exciting job, better conditions, or those who wanted nothing, and even those who didn’t know what they wanted.

The pandemic has given all people the opportunity to question whether the point where they stand in life right now is the best point for them.

Everyone gave their own response and made their move. 

At this point, hundreds of companies have lost thousands of talented employees.


Why is upskilling or reskilling important?

The current economic environment shows that companies cannot rely on their customers or the demand they create in the market to be consistent. Of all the uncertainties, your most important pillar is seen as your resilient, flexible and adaptable workforce. Upgrading your employees’ skills or acquiring new skills can give you a huge advantage.

Conversely, trying to survive in the atmosphere of continuous development and change that has become the nature of corporate life becomes difficult.

On the other hand, digital transformation and the transition to automation in almost every business are triggering the need for reskilling and upskilling. This is not an issue of the last two years. The digital revolution had already begun by 2020, and the importance of skill sets was recognised. The pandemic has forced organizations that stay away from digital transformation to adjust as well.  Almost, we slept, woke up and transformed!

We must admit that a return back is no longer possible.

The on-going introduction of new technologies and the changing face of work require the workforce to keep learning new skills at all times. Any organisation that wants to keep pace with the competition must recognise that reskilling and upskilling is the top strategic priority. For organizations, having a culture of lifelong learning can create a tremendous advantage.  And for organisations that already have this culture, reskilling and upskilling is a norm, not a project.


Briefly; beyond what skills you need today, you also need to analyse what skills you’ll need tomorrow. In your development process, which starts with revealing critical skills, your business goals will determine how you will do it.