Nearly two-thirds of Australian employees are looking to upgrade their job skills in the next twelve months according to a survey conducted by SEEK.
The report revealed upskilling was particularly important to millennial employees, with 72 per cent of those surveyed suggesting they were likely to upgrade their skills this year compared with 39 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Interestingly employees generally expect that their employer should pay for their training (67 per cent indicate this). Although candidates acknowledge they have their own role to play in keeping their skills up to date, they want employers to pay for the formal training to help make this happen.
According to the SEEK survey, the most common upskilling activities undertaken within the last 12 months are: On-the-job training (52 per cent) and keeping up to date with changes in the industry (41per cent). Meanwhile, more employees indicate interest in formal training (e.g. attending conferences) in the next 12 months compared to the proportion who have recently undertaken these activities.
Commenting on the benefits of upskilling and reskilling, Kathleen McCudden, Group HR Director at SEEK said upskilling can improve employee satisfaction. She suggests upskilling and reskilling can not only benefit employees but businesses too, as it allows employees to utilise their strengths, achieve more and think outside of their existing role in the business.
“SEEK prides itself on providing employees with opportunities to upskill and reskill for current or future roles at SEEK. A little over one-third of all our open roles are filled by people moving internally across SEEK – and we really pride ourselves in providing opportunities for people to advance and grow their careers.
“To support this goal, we recently introduced a strength-based development program, which focuses on identifying and developing the strengths of our people. Research has shown that when employees utilise their strengths at work, it encourages them to achieve more, improves their confidence and leads to increased satisfaction with their work.”
McCudden believes adopting a growth mindset can allow staff to embrace new challenges.
“This approach allows people to stay open to new opportunities and to consider working in other fields which they may not have considered previously.”