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Australians feel positive about upskilling and professional development

Australians feel positive about upskilling and professional development

Upskilling and training are a priority for many Australian workers.

A new year represents a time to reflect as well as to look forward to the 12 months ahead – and for many Australians, this may involve seeking out vocational training or boosting their skills in the workplace.

Upskilling employees and encouraging staff to take advantage of personal and professional development opportunities could be key trends for employers in the coming year, a new survey has revealed.

The most recent Randstad Workmonitor – which is published quarterly and surveys workers from 32 different countries around the world – revealed that Australians are particularly keen to take advantage of professional development opportunities, including learning new skills.

In total, 59 per cent of Australian workers said they either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: “In 2013, I extended my knowledge through education and training.” Furthermore, 55 per cent of the Aussie workers surveyed said that these training and skills opportunities were provided or supported by their employer.

An even greater number of Australian workers – 62 per cent in total – said that in the past year, they independently made an effort to develop their skills and competencies in the workplace.

Many Australian workers, the survey found, are also cautiously optimistic about the year ahead. A total of 54 per cent of those surveyed believe that the current economic situation will remain largely the same in the coming year, with no significant changes.

It is possible that the willingness to learn and adapt to a changing work environment could prove particularly useful in Queensland, especially with an anticipated shift in the skills required by the resources sector.

Earlier this month, Phillip Bullock – the chair of the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency – asserted that workers currently employed in the resources sector may need to upskill or retrain as the industry shifts from being in a construction phase to an operational phase.

He noted on December 16th that it will be increasingly challenging for employers to hire workers with the specific blend of specialist skills needed to take on this type of work.

To maintain a competitive advantage, existing workers in this sector – as well as new faces looking to break into the industry – may wish to begin exploring their training options now so that they can stay ahead of upcoming opportunities.

By Leanne Detoerkenczy

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