Bridging the Skills Gap

Bridging the Skills Gap

17 May 2024

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This informal CPD article, ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’, was provided by iAM Learning, who are transforming the way your workforce trains and retains, using high-end animation, lovable characters and captivating stories to make even the most serious subjects appealing and unforgettable.

Consider one of your more “seasoned” colleagues. They’ve been using the same software for over a decade, and no one can deny their skills and expertise. But then new, industry-leading software has been introduced, and the business decides it’s worth the investment. Your colleague, through no fault of their own, is left with a skills gap. And it could jeopardise their career if it’s not tackled.

The need for upskilling

That’s the reality of this rapidly evolving job market. Employers face significant challenges in addressing skills gaps within their workforce. The need for upskilling becomes even more important when companies bring in new tech. Employees require special training on those new systems and tools. Upskilling and reskilling strategies have become crucial for organisations that want to remain competitive and develop a well-equipped workforce.

Identifying critical skills is the first step in devising an effective upskilling and reskilling plan. Organisations must analyse what skills their employees currently need and accurately predict what they will need in future. That means mapping existing employee skill sets against the desired ones, highlighting any areas for development. Once these gaps are identified, training programmes can be tailored to address specific needs.

Creating training programs is a complex task with many parts. Traditional classroom courses are still useful for providing a structured setting where employees can learn and practice hands-on. But modern options like online courses and bite-sized microlearning modules make training more flexible and accessible. They can fit different learning styles and schedules. Mentorship programs and job shadowing are other ways to share knowledge across the company. Approaches like this help build a culture of continuous learning within the organisation.

Uses for Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), present exciting opportunities for immersive learning experiences. VR simulations can transport learners into realistic scenarios, allowing them to practice skills in a risk-free environment. For example, healthcare professionals can refine their surgical techniques or emergency response protocols without compromising patient safety. Or in other roles, AR can overlay digital information onto the physical world, enhancing training for tasks like equipment maintenance or product assembly.

Effective upskilling and reskilling initiatives bridge skills gaps and increase employee engagement and retention. By investing in their workforce's professional development, organisations demonstrate commitment to their employees' growth and success. This, in turn, develops a sense of loyalty and motivation, reducing turnover rates and promoting a positive company culture.

Closing skills gaps requires a comprehensive approach. This includes pinpointing the key abilities needed, creating customised training programs, and utilising new technologies like virtual reality for immersive learning. By making upskilling and reskilling a priority, companies can develop a workforce ready for the future job market landscape – one that’s constantly shifting and changing. Their employees will have the skills to adapt as new needs emerge, and their employers can stay agile, maximise productivity, retain their top talent and maintain a competitive edge.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from iAM Learning, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.


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iAM Compliant t/a iAM Learning

iAM Compliant t/a iAM Learning

For more information from iAM Compliant t/a iAM Learning, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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