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Skills Crisis Drives Demand for Workplace Learning

Skillsoft, a leading platform for transformative learning experiences, has released its annual Lean into Learning report. As the global workforce experiences widespread disruption, the report examines the state of learning and most in-demand skills and competencies.  

“Rapidly advancing technologies, most notably generative AI, have exacerbated an already acute skills crisis,” says Jeffrey Tarr, CEO of Skillsoft. “But with this challenge comes significant opportunity for organizations to reimagine their approach to upskilling and reskilling and gain a competitive edge.”  

Every knowledge worker job will likely be impacted by advances in generative AI, leading to a paradigm shift in skilling priorities. Analyzing learning trends from the past year, Skillsoft’s “Practical ChatGPT” and “Generative AI Business Transformation” courses are seeing the greatest number of completions.  

In addition to the profound influence AI is having on what individuals are learning, it’s also transforming how they are acquiring new skills. Learners are frequency turning to Skillsoft’s AI-powered coach that enables organizations and learners to practice challenging workplace conversations and develop critical power skills in a contained, safe training environment. 

Technological advances and shifts in the employee-employer relationship have placed a premium on leadership skills. Across all disciplines, Skillsoft’s report found leadership topics like written communication, communication essentials, and time management being consumed most, comprising 60% of the top 10 trending topics for 2023 compared to the prior year (40%). 

Skillsoft’s Digital Badges, which skewed technical in the past, now primarily comprise important leadership skills, with “Becoming a DEI Ally and Agent for Change,” “Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Action,” and “Communicating with Confidence,” landing as the top three earned badges. 

Skillsoft’s recently released IT Skills and Salary Report finds that most IT decision-makers (85%) say skill building is now a business imperative. This year’s report shows learners elevating their focus on technology fundamentals and prioritizing courses that support organizations’ move to the cloud by improving technical support, networking, and server management skills. 

However, it is not just technical skills that are top priorities. Skillsoft’s report finds team communication (40%), interpersonal communication (21%), and emotional intelligence (13%) as the three most important skills for IT leaders to have. This further emphasizes that the future of work will require organizations to take a “whole person” approach to skilling and development to be agile and innovative. 

Organizations are creating cultures of safety and compliance to maintain a competitive edge. The top trending compliance courses show that physical workplace and personal safety remain critical priorities. Notably, Skillsoft’s “Active Shooter” training remained the top overall compliance course for North America for the second consecutive year as gun violence continues to impact workplaces and public spaces. The top courses also indicate that learners value ethical cultures and want to play their part in mitigating risks around bribery, harassment, and cybersecurity. 

In the face of an unprecedented skilling crisis, business leaders are reevaluating their L&D strategies, realizing the importance of developing talent from within. This change underscores the criticality of cultivating employees’ skills to foster long-term business success and growth. 

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