Research Digested: The State of Upskilling and Reskilling Training Survey, Training Journal, TalentLMS and Workable

Cover of Talent LMS reskilling research


A snapshot of useful research for L&D and workplace professionals

Why read this report

Any decent report on skills is always important for L&D professionals. This one looks specifically on reskilling and upskilling and within the context of a Covid-19 landscape.

About the research

This report is the result of a collaboration between Training Journal, TalentLMS and hiring experts Workable. First off, 282 training and hiring managers, C-level executives and decision makers were asked why they had reskilled or upskilled their workforce and how it has benefited their business. Next, 400 US employees were asked about their employers’ upskilling and reskilling training initiatives.

Standout stats

What really stands out in the report is that Coivd-19 has prompted a surge in skills development, both in terms of employers ramping up their efforts and employees taking the initiative. We’ve broken the findings down into different categories:

The amount of training taking place:

  • 93% of employers offer upskilling, reskilling or both
  • 35% of employers have an official upskilling/reskilling programme in place, leaving 65% doing it on a case-by-case basis
  • 43% of companies increased upskilling/reskilling since Covid-19 struck
  • 42% of employees have pursued training of their own accord since Covid-19
  • Of the 27% of employees who did not receive any upskilling/reskilling training from their employers, 65% sought out training themselves. Almost a quarter (21%) looked for upskilling courses that would boost their promotion chances

Why employers are investing in training:

  • 68% of companies invest in reskilling/upskilling to handle changes within the organisation
  • 65% invest in reskilling/upskilling to train employees on new technologies
  • 50% of employers want to boost hard and soft skills

Why employees are interested in training:

  • 62% hope reskilling/upskilling will improve their job level and/or salary. However, 33% and 35% respectively say there has been a significant change in compensation and growth within the company
  • 66% say the joy of learning new things and developing new skills is their number one upskilling motivator

Final word

According to the report, the three soft skills employees are most deficient in are: communication/collaboration (57%), leadership (54%) and proactive thinking (50%).

  • 74% of employees think their managers need reskilling/upskilling
  • 91% of organisations and 81% of employees say upskilling/reskilling has boosted productivity at work
  • 80% of employees say upskilling/reskilling has improved their confidence

Participants were asked who created the training material for reskilling/upskilling initiatives. The results were:

  • 87% in-house team
  • 32% external experts
  • 26% courses from online providers such as Udemy and Coursera
  • 7% other

The most popular delivery method is blended learning (69%), with 11% providing offline training and 20% online training.

This research suggests that organisations are actively seeking to upskill employees, which is heartening considering the economic and social context in which we are all operating. And it is good to see the benefits including increased productivity. It’s also interesting to note that 66% of employees enjoy learning new skills.  This fact can get lost in change management programmes.

Note that managers and leaders need upskilling too. They are the keys to future success, so ensure you focus on developing them too.

Report reading time: 15 minutes

Media: PDF