What is Reskilling and Upskilling? Understanding What They Mean and How They Differ

A company invests in worker upskilling to help accomplish its goals and objectives in a highly efficient, quick, and productive manner. Your employees are also able to find new roles inside the company instead of a job switch.

Reskilling and upskilling help your team meet the demands of the future. Closing skill gaps for blue-collar workers improves employee retention, helps uncover new talent with a growth mindset and impacts overall standards and productivity.

Renewed focus on upskilling and reskilling the country’s workforce is vital for India to inch closer to its dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. In fact, continual learning and analysing the its efficacy can add to the workers’ skill sets.

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In 2022, there are approximately 500 million blue-collar workers of which, 210 million belong to the agricultural and allied sectors while the rest of the 290 million are in non-farm sectors like real estate, manufacturing and utilities and logistics.

By knowing what is reskilling and upskilling, training these employees and inculcating institutional knowledge, companies can reshape how they function amid changing business needs.

Single-platform digital solutions with options of self-onboarding, e-payrolls, attendance management, compliance evaluation and verification offer basic benefits to match job seekers against job requirements.

Below is a detailed guide on what is reskilling and upskilling to help to make informed decisions.

What is Reskilling?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines reskilling as the process of learning new skills. It also means looking for people with ‘adjacent skills’ that are close to the skills your company will need.

A McKinsey Global Survey on future workforce requirements found that 9 in 10 executives and managers say that their organisation either expects gaps to develop in the next five years or is already facing skill gaps. But a third of the respondents say that their employer has already begun reskilling efforts.

Developing effective training solutions for the blue-collar workforce will need employers to consider factors like motivators, stressors and behaviours that are unique to these workers. This is because they tend to respond differently than their white-collar counterparts.

It is difficult to find blue-collar workers in India. Conversion rates for these jobs are around 27% in 2022 which is down from 72% during the July-September 2020 period. So, it is a good idea to have a fair idea of what is upskilling and reskilling and invest in the same to transform the way you work and meet long-term goals.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling is the process of teaching new and advanced skills to employees. This is vital since the formalisation of the blue-collar workforce in India’s rising economy has encouraged a shift towards outsourcing to cover the skill deficits.

Refining the skillsets of your workers can help navigate the all-pervasive economic uncertainties and technological disruptions in the industry. Upskilling benefits include:

  • Being better prepared for emergencies
  • Fostering a learning culture and environment
  • Gaining a competitive edge for success
  • Boosting worker productivity and motivation

Employee retention is another big benefit of upskilling. After all, what is worse than losing all the experience and knowledge that former employees take away with them when they leave your company?

What is the Difference Between Reskilling and Upskilling?

Reskilling means learning brand new skills. It can help your employee move to an in-demand position from an obsolete one without the need for fresh hires.

Upskilling, on the other hand, means upgrading the existing skill sets to be better equipped with performing the tasks at hand.

This is effective if the employee already has a basic idea and strong foundation. Knowing what is the difference between upskilling and reskilling will help you improve your workers’ skills in a result-oriented manner.

You can consider a micro-learning platform to help assess, train and develop your contractors and employees. This boosts revenue, improves compliance and reduces personnel costs too while addressing skills gaps for better career pathing.

With BetterPlace, you can give easy access to a wide range of learning modules to your distributed workforce. These can be offered through simple-to-digest, bite-sized modules, made available in vernacular languages for easy consumption. Contact us to know more.

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