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A Modern Workforce Requirement: Job-Specific Upskilling

We consider the parameters as outlined in Deloitte Insights latest report which examines what’s behind the adoption of new technologies in the workplace and how this affects the employee, with a specific focus on job-centric upskilling.

In a South African context, we’re all too aware of the critical skills’ shortage faced by many sectors and organisations – it undercuts the need for organisations to seriously take a step back and consider the long-term effects that will transpire if this gap is not properly addressed. Having said this, the skills’ shortage is not a localized issue, but rather one that stretches beyond the reaches of the global workforce.

With the onset of COVID in 2020, a massive disruption was prompted amidst the rising levels of unemployment and entire industries continue to face unprecedented crises. According to the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics study by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, upskilling can be crucial in navigating the disruptions caused by emerging technologies. Something which has been starkly highlighted in the pandemic.

reachsummitglobal-Summit Using DataA Modern Workforce Requirement: Job-Specific UpskillingResources

As such, essential upskilling with specific focus on each role within an organisation, considers three main factors, namely:


Traditional job training teaches individuals the general skills that service provider think/assume companies need in the hope that job seekers will have more success in the job market and this tends to be where the ball stops. In contrast, however, job-centric upskilling sees the skills’ training as only a part of the greater journey to success.

In most instances, job-specific training doesn’t involve general training, bit rather trains for a specific role and the initial training phase is part of a continuum as the employee progresses within an organisation.

The incumbent is therefore on both the job-seeker and the training providers to reimagine a new world where training is highly focused for the job at hand. Job seekers are also encouraged to consider specific training suited to the career path or role for which they seek to apply.

Moreover, organisations are evolving and adapting and as such, employees need to do the same or face the risk of becoming redundant. A more ‘lateral’ approach is needed by both parties to ensure sustainability of the workforce and relevance in an uncertain future – job roles will change as the business needs change – being ready for the change is the best approach.


No two individuals are the same and therefore no two employees are the same either – some require more support from their employer than others.

Providing training in mock work environments can be useful for individuals with limited experience. Similarly, holistic support for people in new jobs can be an important component to a successful career within an organisation. Tools like on-the-job mentoring is becoming a great way to incorporate the learnings from the challenges which new employees face into real-time training programmes and on-the-job mentoring throughout an organisation.


Successful upskilling should boost employability for participants and provide employers with motivated, trained and supported individuals who understand and value their place in an organisation. However, the approach from all perspectives need to come from a place of knowledge based on facts and data. This is why analytics within the training space is so imperative in order to substantiate growth within future training programmes and continuity for employees and workplaces.

Without measuring efficacy of training programmes, it’s challenging to understand how to adapt and change when needed. The more information that is on hand, the better equipped any organisation will be to implement strategic, job-specific training programmes.

Summit has already implemented a job-specific upskilling model for clients. If this is something you believe that your organisation may benefit from, we’d be happy to chat through your needs. /