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A Strategist’s Guide to Upskilling

By Wilhelm Crous

Here is an interesting article from Laurent Probst and Christian Scharff, Partners at PwC: A Strategist’s Guide to Upskilling.

The essence of the article is that companies which are required to upskill for new technologies and automation should actually collaborate with other organisations in the same geographical area and industry to develop appropriate upskilling strategies.

The authors point out that unless a solution is in place, the social impact of job losses for individuals, as well as the businesses that employ them, and the community around them will be ever more staggering than it has been in the past.

Probst and Scharff distinguish between upskilling and reskilling in the following ways:

“Upskilling is not the same as reskilling, a term associated with short-term efforts undertaken for specific groups (e.g., retraining steelworkers in air-conditioning repair or locksmithing). Reskilling doesn’t help much if there are too few well-paying jobs available for the retrained employees. An upskilling effort, by contrast, is a comprehensive initiative to convert applicable knowledge into productive results — not just to have people meet classroom requirements, but to have them move into new jobs and excel at them. It involves identifying the skills that will be most valuable in the future, the businesses that will need them, the people who need work and could plausibly gain those skills, and the training and technology-enabled learning that could help them — and then putting all these elements together.”

So, the challenge is for learning and talent professionals to address upskilling in the interest of the wider community and to take the initiative in starting discussions with relevant stakeholders in the community to create serious upskilling programmes.

To read the full article click here.


Probst, L., & Scharff, C. (2019, Autumn). A Strategist's Guide to Upskilling., pp. 67-83.

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