Inès Baer (Future Skills Initiative Manager, ADEM), participated to the first HR One Breakfast of the year which took place on March 25, 2021, and focused on the trend topic of upskilling. Her presentation was entitled “making upskilling & reskilling a priority”.

The expert started by listing the different trends that are currently affecting skills demand: economy, technology, changing customer expectations, regulatory, new businesses & operating models and the environment. She added: “these changes have actually been accelerated by the current Covid-19 pandemic, as HR experts and companies in general had to accelerate the digitalization of work processes, provide more opportunities to work remotely, accelerate the implementation of upskilling/reskilling programs, etc.”


What does it mean for jobs?

“Jobs are therefore deeply affected: they are either growing, displaced, emerging or transformed,” she then explained before adding that “other factors are affecting skills availability, such as demographic trends, mobility opportunities - roles, jobs, sectors, companies - , talent attraction, retention & activation - as a country and as a particular sector or company - , as well as education & learning opportunities, also through adult education”.

Inès Baer then focused on the local skills gap and underlined that fact Luxembourg experiences a skills mismatch of 51%, according to the 2018 European Skills Index, and that the declared job offers often do not match with the profiles of the job seekers: 27% of vacancies remained without a match in 2019. Moreover, for 70% of employers in industry and 62% in services, the shortage of qualified labor has become the major challenge of the year. Finally, for 68% of employers, this challenge has increased over the past two years.


All roads lead to lifelong learning

According to the experts, to answer these growing challenges, HR professionals need to provide targeted opportunities for lifelong learning: “this is where upskilling and reskilling come in. These two concepts are very popular nowadays and are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two different scenarios”. She then described both concepts, explaining that reskilling was about providing new skills for a new function, while upskilling consists in the transformation of skills and the need to develop more advanced ones.

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“What competencies do we want to upskill to?” she asked before sharing the results of several studies. “According to the World Economic Forum, the skills that are most in demand are: critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving, self-management, working with people, creativity and innovation, solid relationship building and emotional intelligence. In other words, it is all about Human skills that are difficult to automate as well as tech specific skills, usage and creation”, commented Inès Baer. She then shared Burning Glass’ “new foundational skills for the digital economy”, which consists in a combination of Human skills, business enablers and digital building blocks. “These are the skills we need to foster in all areas and across all levels,” highlighted the expert.

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The Future Skills Initiative

Over the years, Adem, along with the Ministry of Labor, has launched several programs focusing on skills – and notably the Digital Skills Bridge –, which all aim at achieving the agency’s main mission of facilitating job search. “Therefore, these programs increasingly contribute to the development of a robust upskilling strategy destined to job seekers,” she underlined.

According to her, it is first necessary to identify which employees with displaced jobs need to be reskilled, or which talents can take on emerging jobs. “It all comes down to data as many questions are raised: what skills are needed – today and in the future? What skills do employees and job seekers have? Where are the skills gaps, today and in the future? Whom to reskill where? Etc. Most of the time, the data challenge is huge: it may not be comprehensive, qualitative enough, granular, not real time, and also not interoperable,” she commented. The Future Skills Initiative Manager then discussed the need to collaborate with different stakeholders (government, social partners, companies, and many more) as well as government incentives.

Inès Baer concluded: “finally, it only makes sense if private actions are taken within companies to facilitate internal mobility and maintain employment. The overall strategy needs to start with a good workforce planning process. Then, focus on developing a solid training strategy and take concrete actions. Communicate these initiatives to your employees and support them in the shift to a changing world. Finally, to turn this strategy into a success, it requires a variety of services providers - coaches, training institutions, consultants, etc. - It is therefore important to connect the entire ecosystem”

Publié le 07 avril 2021