Is the solution to the skills gap already in your business?

Unemployment in the UK is at an all-time low, and many businesses report a lack of specific skills in the available market. However, before pumping more money into recruitment drives that leave you wondering where have all the candidates gone, have you considered the solution to your problem could already be in your business?

It may be that someone has the skills needed for a specific role that you were unaware of. However, if that's not the case, it could be that you have employees who are looking to develop their skill base further, or they already have some knowledge in a critical area. Either way, the answer to your businesses skills gap could be employee upskilling.

Top Tips for Upskilling Your Employees

Understand what you need

It can be easy to lose sight of the detail when you are constantly worried about recruitment or not having the right talent. So, create specific business goals for the next 12 months, then drill down into precisely what skills are needed in your business to achieve these.

Understand what you have

Take a look at your onboarding process. When you recruit new employees, do you record all of their training and experience in a matrix, or do you focus on the role they were recruited for? If you haven't considered such a matrix, now is an excellent time to visit the idea. Understanding where people have skills that fall into other job roles can be a great way of managing potential skill gaps when they appear.

Similarly, when conducting appraisals or reviews, do managers ask employees about their aspirations for the future or about any training or courses they have undertaken in their spare time? You could have a customer service rep who has taken a course in digital marketing in their spare time as this is what they eventually want to do, which could be a skill you need.

If you haven't previously done either of these things, now would be a great time to make them standard processes in your business.

Once you know what you need, what you have, and the career aspirations of your current employees, you can start thinking about upskilling.

Create an upskilling plan

One of the first things to do is determine a budget. Bear in mind, this is not a one-off process and is something you ideally allocate a yearly budget for. Think about the possibility of external funding that could help you financially. Next, prioritise the skills needed. These could be skill gaps that have a severe impact on the business or skills that an employee already has some knowledge in and just needs a quick refresher.

Look at all upskilling options

People learn in different ways, and it's essential to keep this in mind when deciding what upskilling methods you want to use. Just a few options you could consider are:

  • Internal experts

  • External training experts

  • Self-paced online learning

  • Seminars/webinars

  • Mentorship programmes

  • Apprenticeships


The idea of upskilling your employees could feel like a lot of work, and it is. However, Manpower Group says that over half (54%) of employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling by 2022, a scary thought considering we are just 4 weeks away from the end of the year. But you're not alone. If you are considering hiring external experts to help upskill your current employees, we can help.

At Supportive Solutions, we provide face-to-face and virtual delivery of almost 100 accredited courses. From management and leadership to health and social care, from health and safety to employee wellbeing. We guarantee you'll find the perfect course for your needs. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call!

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