London UK 2025

Dates and Venue

23 - 24 April 2025 | ExCeL London

17 - 18 April 2024 | ExCeL London

What’s Driving the Demand for Upskilling and How Can L&D Teams Prepare?

Wednesday 24 April 2024

What’s Driving the Demand for Upskilling and How Can L&D Teams Prepare?

Peter Brussard
What’s Driving the Demand for Upskilling and How Can L&D Teams Prepare?

With disruption to jobs and roles predicted, how can organisations take a strategic approach to future-proofing the workforce using learning, upskilling and reskilling?

Required workplace skills are changing. In the Bridge-sponsored report The Future of Upskilling and Employee Learning 2024: a massive 95% of surveyed HR professionals across a range of industries and sectors, agree that jobs and roles will be impacted in the next two years, due to market forces or tech trends.

That means a considerable portion of the workforce will need new skills, and HR and L&D teams must be ready to upskill and reskill to meet these demands.

This article explores key insights from the report. These include the facts and figures you need to know to make the case for learning and development, the priorities driving skills and the practices that set high-performing learning functions apart.


Upskilling Practices Employed By High-Performing L&D Teams

Creating an agile and future-ready workforce means embedding skills development into your practices to defend against unpredictability. 

When developing and implementing upskilling and reskilling strategies, high-performing HR and L&D teams are up to twice as likely to take a strategic approach using the following methods:

●    Matching learning to future talent management needs
●    Assessing employee needs and the gaps in skills and knowledge
●    Considering employees' professional interests and goals

So, how can you adopt these practices and future-proof your workforce? Here are some key insights to inform your strategy:
Show the Business Impact of L&D
Your strategies will have the biggest impact when aligned with your organisation's core vision and values. 

Creating momentum for learning means using relevant metrics to show the positive effects of upskilling across all areas of the organisation. According to report findings, HR professionals are more likely to generate leadership support for a learning culture by tracking and sharing a wider array of metrics.

But what numbers count? While course completion (51%) and participation rates (42%) are the most commonly used data points to analyse and report on learning, responses show that they're not always the most effective.

Instead, focus on tracking and measuring a range of learning and skills-based metrics based on employee and business outcomes, such as:

●    Return on investment
●    Learner satisfaction
●    Employee retention
●    Skills assessments
●    Job performance


Regularly Review Skills Data

An agile and strategic approach to skills development is more important than ever. Three-quarters of HR professionals say that learning must be continuous, or happen multiple times a year, in response to skills having a shorter shelf life.

Today's learning impacts tomorrow's performance. Knowing what skills you have and what you need can help you get a head start on future-proofing your talent.
Assessing current and future jobs and roles, and mapping them to skills, can keep your upskilling efforts agile and help you anticipate change. Regularly evaluating employee competencies through assessments, performance reviews and feedback, allows you to spot skills gaps and equip people with the knowledge to adapt to evolving demands and priorities.
Give Employees Time to Learn
People are motivated to keep their skills sharp, with 84% agreeing they want opportunities to learn and grow. However, as the findings suggest, motivation alone isn't enough to ensure success. According to the survey results, just one in three employees are satisfied with their company's learning culture, highlighting a lack of dedicated learning time as an area for improvement.

Promoting skills development requires engaging and easy-to-consume training. To make the best use of this time, incorporate flexible and accessible learning opportunities that cater to schedules and preferences, and foster peer learning and community among learners.

These are some of the most effective ways HR and L&D teams are embedding skills development into their culture to encourage learning:

●    On-the-job learning from managers, peers or experts (78%)
●    Coaching or mentoring (64%)
●    Learning by doing (55%)


Use Technology to Personalise Skills Development

Employee development isn't one-size-fits-all, and as the backbone of your L&D strategies, your learning platform must have the functionality to support these individual needs. The need for personalised learning is clear, with 34% of respondents citing a lack of personalisation as the top weakness of their current systems. 

The right technology can support and scale your upskilling and reskilling initiatives with customisable, personalised and on-demand learning. For example, respondents see opportunities to deliver personalised eLearning courses with AI.

These findings support further Bridge-sponsored research, in which HR professionals anticipate using technology to improve employee engagement by enabling more collaborative and interactive communication among learners.


Embrace Skills-Based Learning to Future-Proof Your Talent

Uncovering employee goals and business objectives and closely connecting them through training creates a robust, future-ready strategy. With clarity and transparency, organisations can deploy agile and targeted L&D that engages employees and keeps skills competitive.

Peter Brussard Peter Brussard

President at Bridge


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  • learning
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  • report
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  • upskilling
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