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Upskilling: The when, the how and the why?

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10 months ago

by Eleonore Jones

Upskilling: The when, the how and the why?

A company’s ability to upskill and its capacity for training and development creates a competitive advantage in a technology-driven world. Offering upskilling opportunities to your incoming and current employees shows your willingness to invest in their satisfaction and long-term development which ultimately can feed into staff retention.  


What is it?

Upskilling means enhancing the skills of your current employees, bridging the gaps in their knowledge, providing educational and professional development, and providing ongoing training opportunities.


Why is it important you ask? Providing upskilling opportunities within your business will help you stay well-informed and match development in industries, changes in the job market, fluctuations in the economy and advancements in technology.



Upskilling comes with countless benefits, helping you maintain high standards in your workplace and driving your business forward, meeting its needs and goals. Prioritising upskilling in your company will:

  1. Help your employees stay up to date with the rapidly changing technology environment and help them make the best use of the tools they are equipped with.

  2. Supports the retention rate of your business and boosts spirit as you’re demonstrating your commitment to your employee’s professional development. This also allows more room for internal progression making your employees feel valued.

  3. Improve business agility – ensuring your employees are highly skilled and equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to perform highly in their job will ultimately boost productivity and efficiency for your organisation.

  4. Save money and resources – by upskilling your current employees, you are cutting costs involved in hiring new employees and coincidentally showing your employees you value them by investing in their development.

  5. Nurture leadership potential – upskilling will help you identify and nurture future leaders. We recommend you offer leadership development opportunities to those showing potential so they can develop the leadership and managerial skills needed to step into those future positions.

  6. Attracting top-talent – offering training and professional development opportunities as part of a package is a no-brainer. Showing employee prioritisation is incredibly appealing to job seekers as it shows your commitment to their current and future positions in your company


The first step is to conduct a skills assessment in your company, matching it with industry changes. Identify the skills that are lacking, those that could be worked on and those that are sought after in your industry. Recognising these and developing a program to fill the gaps will give you a competitive edge.  

You can then go about developing a development framework and plan that includes multiple courses/modules, on-the-job training and mentoring to suit the needs of individual employees and your company goals. Organise and provide resources, support, and alternative online courses they can complete independently if they desire learning opportunities outside of work.

By doing all this, your company can measure the impacts of your upskilling strategy, reassess, and reframe your development plan if needed. It’s important to measure the efficiency of your upskilling initiatives to track progress and see the impact on overall performance, individually and for your company.


Upskilling should always be top-of-mind for any business. Ideally, it should be integrated into work life for all your employees as part of their weekly schedule. This could be, regular mentoring, a weekly course, or on and off-desk training. The skill set needed in Finance & Accounting is constantly changing due to the fast-paced profile of the industry so, to stay competitive and guarantee optimal success for your company, you must ensure your employee's skills match those changes.

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