70% of workers lack the skills required for their current job

70% of workers lack the skills required for their current job

The UK is facing a skills crisis with 70% of employees having not yet mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, according to a report from Gartner.

The researchers found the problem is only likely to get worse, with 80% of employees lacking the skills required for their current and future roles.

HR leaders seem to be aware of this significant skills gap, with 64% of managers reporting they don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs.

And the stakes could not be higher. Brian Kropp, Group Vice President of Gartner’s HR practice warned: 

“More than two-thirds of business leaders believe that if their company does not become significantly digitalised by 2020, it will no longer be competitive."

Gartner’s researchers suggest the best way to combat the skills crisis is to build ‘connected’ learners – which a type of learning that integrates personal interest, peer relationships, and achievement.

They found that utilizing connected learning increases employee skills preparedness by 28% to 39% across three main areas of employee development.

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Additionally, employees who are connected learners are eight times more likely to be high performers.

To build connected learners, organisations must evolve their approach to employee development across several key fronts:

  • Skills Identification: Instead of trying to keep up with leader requests, leading companies are capturing the skills shifts in the market and determining the most pressing skill needs for employees across the organisation.

  • Employee Motivation: Rather than just communicating skills requirements, employees need to understand how they can personally grow by developing the skills the organisation needs.

  • Learning Solutions: Providing self-service development options can overwhelm employees; leading organizations are brokering quality development experiences to accelerate new skill development.

“In order to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world, companies must transform the skills of their workforce, both on a macro level by determining the skills their market and clients are calling for, and on a micro level, by showing employees the personal benefit to upskilling and offering experiences for them to do so,” said Sari Wilde, Vice President of Gartner’s HR practice.

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