When business and the world of work seem to be changing faster than ever, it's essential to prepare your organization and its people for the future by investing in skills development.

A dynamic HR function should offer ways to ensure continued labor support, including reskilling. Reskilling involves training and redirecting employees to new positions within the company, making your business more resilient and adaptable to shifts in operation. Using current workers to fill future employment gaps is a cost-effective strategy that encourages employee engagement and retention.

Let's take a closer look at some of the reasons skills building could prove crucial for your organization and the practical steps you can take to implement a successful reskilling program.

Woman working on her laptop while having a conversation
Woman working on her laptop while having a conversation

In-demand skills

Businesses have always needed relevant and applicable skills in their workforce to succeed. The difference today is the unique challenges, generated by accelerating developments in tech developments, have created a whole new set of in-demand skills. Additionally, as this technology continues to advance, the demand for new tech skills continuously develops. With this new demand in skill sets also comes a shift in workers’ expectations, as each generation of workers brings their respective motivations and ambitions to the table.

According to the World Economic Forum, which meets each year to discuss global trends in economics, technologies and sociology, automation will displace 85 million jobs by 2025. At the same time, it will open up 97 million new roles to people with the right skills and characteristics. To fill these jobs through 2025 and beyond, businesses will need to reskill current employees to keep up with industry enhancements and developing roles. 

Examples of professional opportunities with accelerated growth include:

  • software engineering and cloud computing
  • AI technicians
  • data analysts
  • sales and marketing
  • product development
  • sustainability 
  • social awareness

While emerging fields may dictate the need for a specific hard skill set, don't overlook the necessity of reskilling your employees on soft skills. 

For example, the WEC predicted that analytical thinking, creativity and flexibility will be among the most in-demand skills by 2025. Other valuable soft skills include:

  • digital and data literacy
  • emotional intelligence
  • ability to work within the framework of a team
  • time management
  • positive attitude toward learning

highlight quote:  automation will displace 85 million jobs in the next 5 years. At the same time, it will open up 97 million new roles to people who have the right skills and characteristics to fill them. World Economic Forum

As you look ahead to what the future could hold for your business, reskilling of both hard and soft skills should be at the heart of your efforts to prepare your organization and your people.

learn more tips for closing the skills gap, download 5 strategies to upskill your workforce.

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strategies for successful reskilling

Reskilling your workforce is comparable to many other business projects and processes. You need to take a structured and goal-oriented approach to minimize inefficiencies and get the best results.

Planning out the most important steps and actions you need to take will prove crucial to your final outcomes.

By providing clear, data-rich evidence of how reskilling benefits the business, you can help make it a fundamental part of your organization's operations. This strategy puts your company and its people in positions to thrive, regardless of how the world of work changes in the coming years.

reskilling programs in practice


In 2021, Amazon made a commitment to spend $1.2 billion to help more than 300,000 U.S.-based workers gain the in-demand skills they need to advance their careers. Through a combination of training through its Amazon Technical Academy and mentorships through its Amazon Technical Apprenticeship program, the company’s goal is to help workers move into more advanced roles.

Part of this investment will also go to help employees earn their high school diplomas or GEDs, obtain a college degree or receive an ESL proficiency certifications. These programs cannot only help Amazon workers build their career, but it can help the company close the skills gap and obtain the talent it needs both now and in the future. 


This Germany-based software company, with over 230 million cloud users, offers its employees a robust learning and development environment with more than 1 million courses available. The company began its digital upgrade in 2017 by creating and following a structured roadmap, including upskilling more than 4,700 workers and recruiting new hires for essential roles.

Current employees at SAP have access to dynamic growth solutions that include:

  • online and peer learning
  • internal recruitment pathways
  • job exchange programs
  • certified coaching


Not every employee training program is driven by digitalization. World climate change is causing environmentally aware companies to aim for net zero emissions, requiring a shift in operations and a new set of in-demand skills. Iberdrola, a world leader in renewable energy, is one such company.

The company plans to retrain 15,000 workers for work on solar panels and electric vehicle recharging installs. Ignacio Galan, the company's chairman and a member of the European Round Table for Industry, believes that these are the jobs of the future, and his company needs a workforce in place to meet the goal of smarter energy use. 

By offering employees an opportunity for growth through reskilling and upskilling, these two companies are helping close the job skills gap between current occupations and those that may not even exist until the next decade.

to learn more about upskilling, another important concept, download our 'short guide' 5 strategies to upskill your workforce'.

This is an updated version of an article originally published on 16 September 2021. 

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