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Reskilling: what it is, the advantages and benefits

The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic may in the future be classified as watersheds when it comes to the way in which the concept of work is approached and how it affects or has affected reskillingthis being a consequence or adaptation model for the new ways of being and acting in the labor market .. Advances in technology, driven by digitization, automation and artificial intelligence were already the big reason behind the need for reskilling, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented increase in remote work,the companies had to change the way they work and hire to keep up with the ever-changing market. As the crisis unfolded, the way people work in various economic and industrial sectors changed forever.

But what is reskilling anyway?

As can be seen, the job market is constantly evolving, constantly demanding new skills, methodologies and other needs that arise in everyday life. This requires professionals to constantly update themselves and seek to obtain new knowledge, so that they do not miss out on opportunities and better placements in the labor market. This process of requalification and readaptation is known as reskilling. A practical example of workforce reskilling would be when a production system changes from manual to mechanical. Handymen will have to be re-skilled to learn how to operate and maintain the new equipment. Hence, the updating movement can come from both the professional, who wants to renew his qualifications, or from the employing company, which can identify the need to offer employees training in skills that have become essential for their business.

In the new times we are currently going through, reskilling will play a fundamental role in the adaptation process and in the very functioning of companies. But what, in fact, are its benefits and how to start implementing this policy in the workplace?

Reskilling and the new way of approaching work

From the examples listed above, it can be noted that the technical capacity of employees has a direct impact on the success of companies and the entire economy. The better the employees are trained, the greater the economic success. However, employees must also be willing to invest time and energy in their own skills in order to fulfill a new role in the company. In this way, the concept of lifelong learning is resumed, since reskilling also involves the development of skills that these employees already have and that can contribute to the future viability of the company in the long term.

What are the benefits of requalification?

At first glance, it might seem that reskilling only benefits employees. However, reskilling is beneficial for both the employee and the employer. With the labor market in constant changes, it becomes impossible for a worker to remain productive and competitive with the same knowledge acquired years ago, in their initial training. Thus, it is essential that he continues to update his knowledge and skills in favor of a better positioning of the company. Failure to retrain employees now could mean spending more on hiring in the future or significant losses due to lack of productivity by those same employees. So some benefits of reskilling for companies are:

  • Reduction and time savings
  • Greater productivity
  • It helps in retaining top talent.
  • It helps in attracting new talent.

Cost reduction and time savings.

Hiring new employees is more expensive than reassigning an existing employee to a different job. There are a number of human resource costs such as recruitment fees, background checks and other employee onboarding and training costs to consider. On top of all that, there is no guarantee that the new hire will be better than an existing employee or that he will even stay with the company. Companies that retrain employees save time and money. Upskilling also gives employees a chance to better understand how the organization works, which can add value to their work.

Greater productivity

The employee, as a labour factor of the company, and consequently an essential variable for its business model, needs adequate training and adequacy of his skills to the task to be performed. These tasks, as result of market dynamics that require constant adaptations, also change dynamically, which necessarily leads to the need for new skills so that those tasks can be continuously performed efficiently. By guaranteeing the requalification of its employees , the company also guarantees greater efficiency in the performance of the tasks to be carried out and, consequently, a maximization of its profits.

It helps in retaining top talent.

When reskilling is directed from company to employee it can help your organization retaining its most valuable employees. When talented workers feel that their employer is invested in their growth and development, they are more likely to stay. It’s one of the many reasons why having a training and development strategy for employees is crucial. It can also help you discover untapped talents in a work team. Sometimes people just need to learn a few new skills to show their worth and potential.

It helps in attracting new talent.

Companies that prioritize the growth and continuous development of their employees are more likely to attract new talent. The type of people your company attracts will have a growth mindset. They will also be highly motivated to work in an environment that encourages growth. Cultivating a culture of continuous learning generates support and enthusiasm for employee reskilling. This creates greater team cohesion and improves the employer’s image, making your company more attractive to potential employees.

In a corporate world that is more competitive than ever, having qualified professionals is a differential for any business. Most employees know this too and look for growth opportunities throughout their careers. Whether they’ve been working at a company for two years or twenty years, chances are they’re looking for new challenges and opportunities at some point. That’s where employee-based reskilling comes in, and these are the ways they can benefit from upgrading their skills:

  • Commitment and motivation.
  • Appreciation.
  • Self confidence.

Commitment and motivation.

While this is also a boon for employers, workers also want to work in an environment where they are motivated to learn. If an employee wakes up every day excited to take on a new task or feels invigorated in their work, they will perform better and be more satisfied with their work and able to bring in better results.


Technological progress, like any other change in habits or routines, can be frightening for most employees, who fear being left behind or seeing their skills and abilities become obsolete. Constantly updating and upgrading their knowledge to be relevant in their sectors of activity transmits the image that the employee’s value remains and that he is seen as an important resource.

Self confidence

When employees feel they are on top of the company’s challenges and have the knowledge and skills that put them ahead of those challenges, it makes it more likely that they will push themselves. This can lead to more innovative and creative ideas and happier workers overall.

In summary, reskilling is a concept that means professional requalification, meaning, the learning of new skills to carry out functions and activities different from the usual or previous ones. Offering this possibility to acquire new skills and competencies to employees is beneficial, as they remain more motivated and understand that the company has plans for their professional growth and development. In addition, it also helps retain talent and builds the company’s corporate image.

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