Businesses are not equipping their workforce for the future

Businesses are not equipping their workforce for the future

Only 41 percent of UK employees feel their organisations are equipping them with the right skills for the future of working

Businesses are not equipping their workforce for the future

Less than half of the UK workforce believe their employers are arming them with necessary skills for the future.

Only 41 percent of employees in the UK think the place they work is training them up in the skills they need to continue progressing in their future.

PwC’s Workforce of the Future 2018 report revealed that more than 50 percent of 18-34 year olds in this country would work in the gig economy. Less than 30 percent of working people above that age would consider doing this.

It asked global business and HR leaders what they thought were critical skills for the future.

Out of 1,246 respondents, 87 percent said they believe human skills are critical for future success, yet only 33 percent have talent practices supporting this belief.

Top organisational capabilities for the future

A huge 91 percent of organisations felt that being trusted by society was important to the future of businesses while 82 percent feel wellbeing is key, placing it only just behind human skills in terms of importance.

In fourth place is the idea of output not hours – the focus should be on work and task output and value added rather than how long employees spend labouring.

Having a collaborative environment is an important consideration for 79 percent of organisations while 78 percent believe adaptability.

It was quite low down the list in seventh place, but still 77 percent of respondents important to the future of business. For 76 percent, innovation is key to growing and building a future venture.

Tied in eighth place is quite a specific quality. Pay transparency. Over three quarters of respondents (76 percent) felt organisations being honest and truthful about how much they pay all their employees is key.

Finally, 76 percent also say re-skilling is critical if a company wants to stay competitive moving into the future. If we take the accounting industry as an example, it is training all accountants to become tech experts as well as preparing them to embrace a more advisory role, and all the interpersonal skills that are necessary.

How can business achieve this?

Businesses must invest in creativity, leadership, and adaptability in order to move forwards successfully into the future.

Alastair Woods, partner at PwC, commented: “HR departments must lead the way in growing and building the capabilities the workforce of tomorrow will require. The impact of automation and robotics over the course of the next decade will mean some tasks disappear, but new activities will emerge that rely on uniquely human skills like judgement, empathy, innovation.”

As the nature of the way we work continues to change, the number of freelancers, contractors, and portfolio workers continue to rise. A growing number of partnerships between large companies and small start-ups are providing businesses with access to the type of talent they want.

With this comes demand from workers to work more flexibly and this is a vital change organisations must make, yet currently few are willing to make this shift.

Unfortunately only 8 percent strongly agree their businesses can engage with this emerging talent when they need them.

Woods concluded: “Firms need to think about how they embrace flexibility while ensuring workers get a fair deal. Businesses are missing a huge trick by ignoring the huge value gig economy workers could add to a company and are failing to invest in tapping into this workforce.”

Why is this crucial for accountants?

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) explained that now is the time recognition was given to the fact that employees needs skills that develop far beyond their initial training and they must continue to learn and build skills throughout their career.

A spokesperson from AAT said: “With AAT research showing the average Briton trains for entirely new careers twice in their life, and with a significant proportion of AAT members and students being people who have changed careers into accountancy, both Government and employers can do far more to encourage training, re-training and upskilling to get the best from workers.

“A skilled workforce improves Britain’s productivity, delivers greater value for money and – from the employer’s perspective – often breeds loyalty from workers who are the business leaders of the future.

“The idea of a ‘job for life’ is increasingly becoming a thing of the past – a recent study from Informi showed that 50% of the millennial generation would one day like to run their own business, and as the PwC report has noted, the rise in the gig economy has undoubtedly acted as a gateway for many to work flexibly while creating their own business.

“The number of UK start-ups is currently at record levels, and this can only be good news for accountants with the financial and advisory services they can provide to small business owners.”

 

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