Majority of Irish employees paying for own upskilling

Skills dial
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A quarter believe they are being failed by their employer in preparation for digital transformation, survey finds



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2 September 2019 | 0

Nearly two thirds (63%) of Irish employees are covering the cost of their own upskilling and training, according to research from recruiter Hays Ireland. However, 57% of employers think they should be the ones to take responsibility for this, not the staff.

The “What Workers Want Report 2019” report surveyed 2,100 employers and employees across the country. It found that near two-thirds of employees are enhancing their technical skills and three quarters (76%) are improving their soft skills.

“It is evident that employees in Ireland are taking steps to upskill themselves,” said Maureen Lynch, director, Hays Ireland. “This effort must be recognised and provided by employers, especially as employers continue to invest in new technology.”




The study says it identified a disconnect between the employers and employees when it came to demand for soft skills. When hiring for future roles, emotional intelligence is a foremost consideration for 43% of employers, while 41% prioritise critical thinking. Yet, employees believe the ability to learn (46%) and problem solve (45%) are the most sought-after soft skills. Of all the soft skills, employers (64%) consider emotional intelligence to be in the shortest supply, closely followed by people management (63%) and critical thinking (61%).

As companies attempt to meet demands for the future working world, the study identified some potential issued. A significant proportion (44%) of Baby Boomers are not improving their technical skills at all. Gen Z respondents are most inclined to upskill in this area, then Gen X (35%) and Gen Y (35%).

Furthermore, 26% of employees believe that their employer is not adequately preparing them for digital transformation. While 24% of employees have received some support, 16% considered it the bare minimum. Overall, just 12% of employees feel fully supported in dealing with current and future change. The study breaks this down generationally, with Baby Boomers (39%) are more inclined to feel unsupported that Gen Z (19%).

“Our research shows a clear disparity between employers and employees when it comes to training and upskilling for the modern world of work. Training and upskilling employees is vital, not least for employee retention but to attract new employees and future-proof the workplace,” said Lynch.

“Employers should avail of the resources at their disposal, such as training programmes, to assist with upskilling staff. It is essential that employees feel prepared, confident and equipped to deal with changing workplace demands and requirements from employers.”

TechCentral Reporters

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