Approximately seven in ten workers across the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) are concerned they’re unprepared for the jobs of the future, according to a new study by Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate learning.
Based on a comprehensive Vanson Bourne study of 2,500 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia about their readiness for the future of work, Skillsoft’s Mind the Gap report, shows a majority of employees feel under-skilled and worried their employers will not support them to meet future job requirements.
More than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents reported they would need to learn a new skill in 2019 to remain confident in their role. Nearly 70 percent of respondents are concerned about not receiving the learning, development and training they need from their organisation to remain employable and skilled in the future, while one-fifth (21 percent) are very concerned.
On average, surveyed employees received learning, development and training from their organisation for new skills for their job role three times in 2018. However, 82 percent report their organisation could provide more training, learning and upskilling opportunities, while only 14 percent of those who received training last year rated this as excellent, where nothing could have been improved.
Rosie Cairnes, Regional Director of APAC, Skillsoft commented, “We are quite shocked by the level of concern and unpreparedness among employees. Training, learning and development are critical to technology-enabled workplaces, yet many organisations are failing to deliver enough. This is not just a ‘future’ problem; it is happening now.”
Digital transformation and employee training out of step
Approximately 80 percent of respondents surveyed say their role is being changed due to digital transformation – with over a quarter (26 percent) reporting their role is being digitally transformed, and more than half (55 percent) stating their role is having a slight digital transformation.
However, employee training is not keeping pace. In 2019, 80 percent of employees across APAC would like their organisation to be more on trend with the training they provide. More than half (54 percent) of employees would like to receive learning, development and training opportunities online through eLearning courses, while 42 percent are interested in receiving training via microlearning. Furthermore, 86 percent of respondents agree the future of work is nothing without training, learning and development.
“Continuous, personalised, on-demand learning that allows individuals to curate their own learning journey in a way that is responsive to the needs of their role, at their own pace, must become standard across all businesses – large and small – in order to manage digital transformation effectively,” Ms. Cairnes said.
Organisations hiring instead of training
The report also showed that 90 percent of respondents believe when a new role needs to be filled in their organisation, employers look externally instead of internally because they have failed to put in place an appropriate learning and development program to upskill their people. Forty percent of respondents report that roles are filled with external employees all or most of the time.
“Hiring is far more costly than training, and organisations are already grappling with a skills deficit in the jobs market. Failing to invest in employee development also has a huge bearing on job satisfaction, morale and retention,” Ms. Cairnes said.
“Many organisations are missing out on the positive financial impact and increased performance of upskilling their employees to take on new roles, and are missing an opportunity to reduce attrition by providing a compelling experience for their employees.”