career development and upskilling

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The 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings work and workplace insights sourced from more than 120,000 respondents from 31 countries across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. This first installment, on the topic of Career Development and Upskilling, explores the changing focus on training and skills development, as employees become more proactive and self-reliant in managing their careers.


  • Careerdevelopmentand upskillingkelly Global workforce index120,000 people31 countriesrelease:APRIL2013
  • THE ULTIMATE PROMOTIONAL TOOLWHY UPGRADE SKILLS?MOST VALUED SKILL DEVELOPMENT57% 47% 42%GEN Y IS MORE LIKELY TO BE MOTIVATEDBY THE PROSPECT OF A PROMOTIONWITH THEIR CURRENT EMPLOYERGen Y63%Gen X57%Baby Boomers50%Promotionwith currentemployer The prime reason for undertaking training in the Americas andAPAC is to gain promotion with their current employer. However,its a different story in EMEA, where about half of employees focuson gaining a promotion, and are almost equally motivated by adesire to switch employers or even enter a new eld of work.Advancementat anothercompanyEnter a neweld of workNo longer front-end loaded onto a career, nor the soleresponsibility of the employer, workers recognise that skillsare a lifelong pursuit of development and renewal.48%66%68%EMEAEMEAAPACAPACAMERICASAMERICASTRAINING FOR PROMOTION WITHCURRENT EMPLOYER, BY REGIONContinued education/trainingOn the job experienceSeminars/webinarsMOST LIKELYMath28%LEAST LIKELYWHICHFIELDS AREUPSKILLINGTO PURSUE ANEW FIELDOF WORK?Engineering26%IT26%18%Science19%Healthcare22%Education58%70%26%%60of workers globally, are eitheractively seeking furthereducation/training, orare considering it.
  • 3Kelly Global Workforce IndexSection 1:4Introduction5 Reason for Training6 Reason for Training (by Generation)7 Reason for Training (by Region)8 To Train or Not To Train (by Region)9 To Train or Not To Train (by Country)10 Seeking Training (by Profession)Section 2:11Introduction12 Most Valued Skill Development13 Satisfaction with Employer Training14 Confronting the Skills Gap15 Closing the Hard Skills Gap16ConclusioncontentsThe 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI)brings work and workplace insights sourced frommore than 120,000 respondents from 31 countriesacross the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions.It takes the form of an annual survey thatcanvasses a wide spectrum of opinions on issuesimpacting the contemporary workplace, with aparticular focus on the perspectives from differentgenerations, industries, occupations and skill sets.Topics covered in the 2013 KGWI survey include: Career Development and Upskilling Employee Engagement and Retention Social Media and Technology Global Mobility Workplace ChangesThe Kelly Global Workforce Index 2013This first installment, on the topic of CareerDevelopment and Upskilling, explores thechanging focus on training and skills development,as employees become more proactive andself-reliant in managing their careers.Once the preserve of the employer, responsibilityfor training and skills development is shiftingto employees, who are dictating the way thattraining is designed, provided and funded.There is also some reassurance for employerswho often fear that any investment in trainingwill be lost when staff depart. The goodnews is that the majority of employees whoare seeking training are motivated by adesire to stay with their current employer.Note: Regional differences in results may be attributed in part to the generational composition of the survey samples,with the APAC region having a larger portion of Gen Y respondents (53% APAC, 35% Americas, 48% EMEA).
  • 4Kelly Global Workforce IndexTHE CHANGING FACE OF SKILLS AND TRAININGsection 1Training is an investment. For individuals, it builds skills and lifts earnings potential, while forbusinesses it contributes to a more productive workplace.The actual motivation to undertake training may come from the individual, the employer, ora combination. Some employers fear that the benefits of investing in training are lost whenemployees leave and take their newly developed skills to another employer.Meanwhile, many employees clearly see the benefit in taking charge of this investment intheir future, setting clear goals as to the nature and content of the training that will best suittheir career plans.
  • 5Kelly Global Workforce Indexreason for training When asked to identify the mainmotivation for learning new skillsor undertaking training, the largestshare of employees (57%) cite theopportunity for promotion with theircurrent employer. A further 47%cite the opportunity for promotion/advancement at another company, and42% plan to enter a new field of work.In essence, the largest group ofemployees are motivated to undertakeadditional training or skills developmentby a desire to stay in their current job.At the same time, a smaller butstill significant number are keepingtheir options open to a diverserange of opportunities outsidetheir current employment.What motivates you to learn new skills or seek additional training? (% Globally, multiple responses allowed)Promotion atcurrent employerPromotion/advancementat another companyEnter a new eldof workBecome anentrepreneur/businessownerOther57%47%42%20%9%
  • 6Kelly Global Workforce Indexreason for training (by generation) Clearly from an employersperspective, one of the key motivationsbehind the investment in training is tolift staff retention. But the likelihoodof higher retention may not beuniform across the workplace. Thereis a noticeable difference between thegenerations when it comes to the mainfactors that influence their trainingdecisions. Gen Y is significantly morelikely than Gen X and Baby Boomersto be motivated by the prospect of apromotion with their current employer.What motivates you to learn new skills or seek additional training? (% by Generation, multiple responses allowed)0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%OtherBecome an entrepreneur/business ownerEnter a new eldof workPromotion/advancementat another companyPromotion atcurrent employerBaby BoomersGen XGen Y
  • 7Kelly Global Workforce Indexreason for training (by region) The link between training and staffretention varies across the globe. In theAmericas and APAC, the prime reasonemployees undertake training is to gainpromotion with their current employer,meaning employers will have a goodchance of recouping the investment intheir newly trained workers. However,in EMEA, employees who are seekingtraining are not overwhelmingly focusedon staying with their current employer,being almost equally motivatedby a desire to switch employers oreven enter a new field of work.The desire to use training as a launchpadto start a business is significantly more inAPAC as it is in the Americas and EMEA.What motivates you to learn new skills or seek additional training? (% by Region, multiple responses allowed)0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%OtherBecome an entrepreneur/business ownerEnter a new eldof workPromotion/advancementat another companyPromotion atcurrent employerAPACEMEAAmericas
  • 8Kelly Global Workforce Indexto train or not to train to pursue a new field of work? (by region) The upheaval in labor markets overrecent years and business cutbacks infunding of professional development havechanged the way that many employeesview the need for upskilling. Rather thanrelying on their employer, they are takingcontrol of their own career development.Globally, 60% of workers are eitheractively seeking further education ortraining (23%), or considering it (37%) topursue a new field of work. The APACregion stands out as a skilling hotspot,with 69% of those surveyed eitherconsidering or seeking further training.Are you currently seeking/considering additional education or training to pursue a new field of work? (% by Region)Not currently seekingor consideringeducation/trainingConsidering or seekingeducation/trainingALL COUNTRIESAMERICASEMEAAPAC40% 60%45% 55%41% 59%31% 69%
  • 9Kelly Global Workforce Indexto train or not to train to pursue a new field of work? (by country) Across the globe, there are markedlydifferent approaches to the notion ofadditional training and professionaldevelopment. The highest rates ofplanned upskilling are predominantlyin developing economies, while thelowest rates tend to be in some ofthe most prosperous nations.Russia heads the list for training intensity,with an astonishing 92% planningsome form of training. Also high onthe list are Thailand, Mexico, Brazil,Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Malaysia.The lowest rates of planned training are inFrance, the US, Switzerland and Sweden.Are you currently seeking/considering additional education or training to pursue a new field of work? (%Yes by Country)92%83%80%79%78%76%76%74%74%71%68%67%67%67%66%66%64%64%62%61%60%59%57%57%55%53%53%47%38%EMAPAAm20406080100FranceUSSwitzerlandSwedenNorwayUKGermanyIndiaCanadaDenmarkNewZealandHongKongAustraliaItalySingaporeSouthAfricaNetherlandsPolandPortugalIrelandHungaryChinaMalaysiaPuertoRicoIndonesiaBrazilMexicoThailandRussia
  • 10Kelly Global Workforce Indexseeking training to pursue a new field of work (by profession) The propensity for individuals toundertake fresh training or educationwill depend on a host of factors,including industry dynamics, the stateof competition in the jobs market,and the likelihood of the traininginvestment producing a payoff inthe form of salary or promotion.Among professional and technicalemployees, those most likely to beactively seeking to upgrade theirskills are in Math, Engineering and IT,while the least likely are in Science,Healthcare and Education.Are you currently seeking additional education or training to pursue a new field of work? (% Yes by Profession, globally)28% 26% 26% 25% 25% 24% 23% 23% 22% 19% 18%1015202530ScienceHealthcareEducationMarketingFinance/AccountingLawSecurityclearanceSalesITEngineeringMath
  • 11Kelly Global Workforce IndexFor training to be meaningful it needs to be relevant and practicalnot training for trainings sake.In an era when employees are embracing the notion of self-directed training and continuingeducation, there is a new focus on providing the most appropriate type of training.Employees seem to possess an inherent understanding of what works best in terms ofthe development of their skills.For the majority of workers, the most desirable training is on the job experience: training thatis centered on the real and practical elements of the job at hand.INVESTING IN TRAINING THAT WORKSsection 2
  • 12Kelly Global Workforce Index When asked to identify the mostdesirable means of furthering their skills,the overwhelming preference is for on-the-job experience, identified by 70%of respondents, significantly ahead ofthe next highest rankedcontinuededucation and training, cited by 58%.All other avenues of professionaldevelopment, including professionalcertification, seminars, webinars,mentoring, job sharing, and associationmemberships, rate relatively lower.For employers, it seems that sophisticatedand costly exercises in professionaldevelopment may not be as well-receivedas hands-on workplace experience.Most Valued Skill DevelopmentWhich of the following methods are most desirable to you in terms of your skill development? (% Globally, multiple responses allowed)On the jobexperienceContinuededucation/trainingProfessionalcerticationSeminars/webinarsSpecial/stretch/rotationalassignmentsStructuredmentoringJobSharingProfessionalorganizationmembershipsOther70%58%31%26%19%19%18%16%2%
  • 13Kelly Global Workforce Index Training and further education canbe provided in a number of ways,including in the workplace or throughspecialist colleges and institutions.When asked to evaluate the effectivenessof the training provided by employersin the workplace, there is a relativelyhigh degree of satisfaction. Slightlymore than half (54%), globally, agreethat employer-provided trainingis effective in building skills.This form of training is preferredamong Gen Y, with 58% positive, butbecomes less supported among GenX (53%) and Baby Boomers (48%).Satisfaction with employer trainingTo what degree do you agree or disagree that the training provided by your employer allows youto upgrade your skills and progress in your career? (% Agree & Strongly Agree)GEN Y GEN X58% 53%BABY BOOMERS GLOBAL45% 54%
  • 14Kelly Global Workforce Index When we drill further into the skillsets that are critical to job success,employees identify a range of softskills that they believe underpinorganizational achievement.These are headed by Cooperation/teamwork, cited by 77%, Active listening(72%), Organization/attention to detail(70%), and Verbal communication (69%).For the most part, workers feel theyare proficient in the most critical softskills. When asked to nominate the skillsthey really need to develop, the moststriking is Bilingual skills, nominated by(64%), followed by Leadership/initiative(41%), and Creativity/innovation (37%).The intriguing question is whetheremployees, in general, are truly proficientin the most critical soft skills, as theysuggest, and whether some of thetraining effort is actually being misplaced.confronting the skills gapSkills identified as critical for job success versus those needing development (% Globally)0%20%40%60%80%100%BilingualskillsCreativity/innovationWrittencommunicationLeadership/initiativeVerbalcommunicationOrganization/attention to detailActivelisteningCooperation/teamworkCritical skillsNeed to develop
  • 15Kelly Global Workforce Index Among some of the most skilledemployees, known as STEM professionals(Science, Technology, Engineering andMathematics), there is a more acute focuson specific skills needs. This group identifiesthe critical set of skills necessary for jobsuccess as Analytical/critical thinking (80%);Evaluation, analysis and troubleshooting(79%); and Complex problem solving (75%).As is the case with soft skills, there is aperception by most employees in thisSTEM category that they are proficientin these critical, high-level skills.The areas they believe they require skillupgrades are in the more intensive,technical competenciesMathematics,calculations, measurement andmonitoring (45%); and Technical (systems,computer and software) (52%).With STEM professionals in high demandaround the globe, their perceptionsabout their own skill set gaps are highlyrelevant to the training agenda.Closing the hard skills gapTechnical skills identified as critical for job success versus those needing development (% STEM Professionals, Globally)0%20%40%60%80%100%Mathematics, calculations,measurement, monitoringTechnical (systems,computer, software)Complexproblem sovlingEvaluation, analysis,troubleshootingAnalytical/criticalthinkingCritical skillsNeed to develop
  • 16Kelly Global Workforce IndexThe upgrading and renewal of skills playsa critical role in personal and professionaldevelopment. It also has a vital role inbroader workforce development, whichis the cornerstone of organizationalefficiency and productivity.The responsibility for managing skillsdevelopment no longer resides solely withthe employer. Employees recognize thatthey need to take control of this importantaspect of their careers, and think strategicallyabout how they invest in the developmentof their intellectual and professional capital.What is clear is that personal decisionsabout training and professionaldevelopment are now an integral partof the employment equation, and havean important bearing on employeemorale, performance and retention.ConclusionBUILDING A DURABLE SKILL BASEThe last two decades have radically altered the way skills are acquired and developed.Skills are no longer front-end loaded onto a career. Rather they are characterized bylifelong development and renewal. Most skill sets have a finite life.
  • 17Kelly Global Workforce IndexAbout Kelly servicesKelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.Kellyoffers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-classstaffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe,Kelly provides employment to more than 560,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2012 was$5.5 billion. Visit and connect with us onFacebook,LinkedIn, andTwitter.Download The Talent Project, a free iPad app by Kelly Services.About the kelly global workforce indexThe Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) is an annual global survey revealing opinionsabout work and the workplace. Approximately 122,000 people across the Americas, EMEAand APAC regions responded to the survey. This survey was conducted online by RDA Groupon behalf of Kelly Services.EXITAn Equal Opportunity Employer 2013 Kelly