Like any responsible company, RSVP Design regularly takes the time to check what we’re doing with available measures of what our markets need. We’re lucky in that we have regular dialogue with many of our customers, but every now and again we step back and look at the big picture, and there’s none bigger than the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ Report. This timely report “uses a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative intelligence to expand the knowledge base about the future of jobs and skills. It aggregates the views of business leaders—chief executives, chief strategy officers and chief human resources officers–on the frontlines of decision-making regarding human capital with the latest data from public and private sources to create a clearer picture of both the current situation and the future outlook for jobs and skills.”
In short it’s a comprehensive and accessible look into the future of the workplace, and, for the world of experiential learning, it’s a vital reference for current and future trends.
I’ve used a graphic direct from the report as a quick reference:
It’s clear that Problem Solving, Self Management and Working with People dominate the key workplace skills requirement list. We map this across to our portfolio of experiential learning tools and we’re confident that we’re extremely well placed to support any learning and development professional who wants to address these skills in their own organisation. Interestingly the appearance of two technology skills in this list for the first time (probably post-Covid) parallels our own move into digital and hybrid delivery of existing and purpose-designed tools.
So it’s clear what’s perceived to be needed in the future workplace, yet there seems to be a dissonance between this need and what’s actually being offered. The majority of employers are focusing their provision of training for employees on ‘harder skills’, and, in many cases, employees are recognising that this isn’t what they need:“On average, employers expect to offer reskilling and upskilling to just over 70% of their employees by 2025. However, employee engagement into those courses is lagging, with only 42% of employees taking up employer-supported reskilling and upskilling opportunities.”
It seems a lot of employees are making their own decisions based on their own assessment of what they need by way of employability skills, and it’s not hard-skills they are seeking
“There has been a four-fold increase in the numbers of individuals seeking out opportunities for learning online through their own initiative…….Those in employment are placing larger emphasis on personal development courses, which have seen 88% growth among that population.”
Employees are ‘voting with their feet’ when it comes to learning, opting out of what employers think they need and following their own ideas - a very dangerous situation for employers in a time of growing labour shortages in many areas!
Perhaps there’s a message here for those tasked with making decisions about what their employees need to learn, maybe it’s time to trust the vision of employees and offer workplace learning that is geared to the future needs and preferences of their most precious asset, rather than the expediency of short-sighted provision?
We don’t believe that abandoning hard-skills learning is a good idea, organisations need to keep pace or lead their markets. We believe that workplace-based learning needs to be a balanced combination of hard and soft skills, that’s why we design our learning tools so that they can be used in combination with any content to build a performance-based curriculum. (One of our tools, Minefield, actually came from the request for us to design an activity that explored the behavioural context for the data assembly skills that were being developed by a customer.)
So we’re happy that our trajectory is currently correct, what we’re offering is, more than ever, relevant for the next phase of our growth, and, judging from this final graphic, we’re in sync with the learning needs of the majority of global businesses. Happily our customers agree and many are demonstrating great discernment and skill in what learning they offer and how they deliver it.