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Report reveals global skills crisis & learning trends
Tue, 12th Mar 2024

Leading transformative learning platform Skillsoft has released its annual Lean into Learning Report, revealing a multidimensional skills crisis that is reshaping the approach to workplace learning. The report explores the current state of learning globally and identifies the most sought-after skills and competencies. Amid this crisis, opportunities have arisen for organisations to reimagine their strategies for upskilling and reskilling, thereby establishing a culture of growth and innovation.

"Rapidly advancing technologies, most notably generative AI, have exacerbated an already acute skills crisis. But with this challenge comes significant opportunity for organizations to reimagine their approach to upskilling and reskilling and gain a competitive edge," remarked Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer, Skillsoft. "Our Lean Into Learning Report provides a blueprint for skill-building priorities in a time of immense disruption."

The influence of AI is seen not only in what individuals are learning but also how they are acquiring new skills. For instance, Skillsoft students are increasingly using the firm's Conversation AI Simulator (CAISY), an AI-powered coach that allows users to practice challenging workplace dialogues in a safe, controlled environment. Since its launch, the most popular scenarios include cultivating empathy and connection, coaching struggling employees and dealing with irate customers.

Leadership skills continue to feature highly as an essential requirement in evolving workplaces. Based on the report, prominent leadership subjects such as written communication, essential communication, and time management made up 60% of the top ten trending topics in 2023, compared to 40% in the previous year. Significantly, badges traditionally associated with technical prowess now predominantly represent important leadership skills.

Despite the equally significant demand for technical skills, it is becoming increasingly clear that these skills alone are not enough. Skillsoft's latest IT Skills and Salary Report reveals that an impressive 85% of IT decision-makers regard skill building as a business imperative. Refreshingly, the most critical skills identified for IT leaders included team communication, interpersonal communication, and emotional intelligence, suggesting a shift towards a more holistic approach to professional development.

Safety, ethics, and vigilance maintain critical importance in the realm of compliance training. Top courses underline the importance of cultures where safety and compliance are prioritised. Skillsoft's Active Shooter training has continued to top compliance courses in North America for the second year running, reflecting the impact of gun violence in workplaces and public spaces.

The report also tells us that the challenges of the skilling crisis have prompted business leaders to reconsider their learning and development strategies and the importance of talent development. It's a change that underlines the importance of fostering employees' skills to secure long-term business success and growth.