TalentLearning & DevelopmentEmployers are failing to equip their workforce with skills they need for the future

Employers are failing to equip their workforce with skills they need for the future

A report by PwC found that the majority of the UK workforce have a lack of faith in their employees in developing their skills for the future.

A report by PwC found that a vast majority of the workforce don’t feel that their companies are providing enough processes for them to learn skills needed for the future, with Only 41% of employees agreeing to this. The fact that only 41% of employees feel as if their employers are accommodating for the future, can be a worrying statistic for many. To tackle this issue, and increase staff happiness, it’s important for companies to provide an opportunity for learning and developing, focusing on creativity, adaptability to better prepare their workforce for the challenges that lie ahead.  

Alastair Woods, partner at PwC, commented on this statistic, saying “HR departments must lead the way in growing and building the capabilities the workforce of tomorrow will require. The impact of automation and robotics over the course of the next decade will mean some tasks disappear, but new activities will emerge that rely on uniquely human skills like judgement, empathy, innovation. To prepare for this change HR teams must develop a thorough understanding of future needs and put in place the learning and development programmes and other tools like performance management to help and underpin this transition.”

With this lack of trust in their employers, it was also surprising to find that 10% of respondents ‘Strongly Agree’ that they have a clear narrative about the future
of work. In addition to this, when the top ten capabilities ranked by risk from high to low the 2nd most popular was the skills gap, at 34%. So it is apparent that this is a worrying issue to a substantial amount of staff in the UK, that has to be addressed.

In addition to this research based on the future of work, PwC also found that more than half of 18-34-year-olds in the UK would work in the gig economy compared to less than 30% of those above that age group. With the gig economy being such a young option for this age group, predominately down to flexibility. This new age of working is proving to be growing exponentially, “In 2010, it was estimated that by 2020 more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, would be independent workers. We are on track: figures from 2017 show 36% of the workforce, or 57.3 million people, called themselves freelancers, with more than 50% of millennials falling into this category.”

Although many companies have adapted to change in order for them to not lose their staff to this new way of working. Alister discussed what companies can do more of to retain their workforce.

“Firms need to think about how they embrace flexibility while ensuring workers get a fair deal. Businesses are missing a trick by ignoring the huge value gig economy workers could add to a company and are failing to invest in tapping into this workforce. HR has a role to play in preparing the organisation for growing numbers of gig workers and moving from a ‘one size fits all’ HR model. With attitudes changing, and gig working seen as a positive alternative employment model, it should fall to HR to design the recruitment, reward and recognition elements that will attract gig workers and see them return.”

PwC’s 2018 Workforce of the Future report – Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workforce Today – is based on a survey of 1,246 business and HR leaders from 79 countries. 59% of the respondents were HR professionals, and 41% were business executives, of which 13% were C-suite level leaders. A copy of the report can be downloaded at: www.pwc.com/futureworksurvey

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