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Are we unprepared for the jobs of the future? 

A new report reveals the majority of employees across the Asia Pacific region are worried their employers will not support them to meet future job requirements, with seven in ten workers saying they are concerned they're unprepared for the jobs of the future.

Skillsoft's Mind the Gap report is based on a Vanson Bourne study of 2,500 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia about their readiness for the future of work.
 
The report found more than three quarters (77%) of respondents reported they would need to learn a new skill in 2019 to remain confident in their role. Nearly 70% of respondents are concerned about not receiving the learning, development and training they need from their organisation to remain employable and skilled in the future, while one-fifth (21%) are very concerned.

On average, surveyed employees received learning, development and training from their organisation for new skills for their job role three times in 2018. However, 82R% report their organisation could provide more training, learning and upskilling opportunities, while only 14% of those who received training last year rated this as excellent, where nothing could have been improved.

"We are quite shocked by the level of concern and unpreparedness among employees," states Rosie Cairnes, regional director of APAC, Skillsoft.

"Training, learning and development are critical to technology-enabled workplaces, yet many organisations are failing to deliver enough. This is not just a ''future'' problem; it is happening now," she says.

The study shows digital transformation and employee training is out of step.

Approximately 80% of respondents surveyed say their role is being changed due to digital transformation, with over a quarter (26%) reporting their role is being digitally transformed, and more than half (55%) stating their role is having a slight digital transformation.

However, employee training is not keeping pace. In 2019, 80% of employees across APAC would like their organisation to be more on trend with the training they provide. More than half (54%) of employees would like to receive learning, development and training opportunities online through eLearning courses, while 42% are interested in receiving training via microlearning. Furthermore, 86% of respondents agree the future of work is nothing without training, learning and development.

"Continuous, personalised, on-demand learning that allows individuals to curate their own learning journey in a way that is responsive to the needs of their role, at their own pace, must become standard across all businesses, large and small, in order to manage digital transformation effectively," Cairnes says.

The report also found organisations are hiring instead of training.

The study showed that 90% of respondents believe when a new role needs to be filled in their organisation, employers look externally instead of internally because they have failed to put in place an appropriate learning and development programme to upskill their people. Forty percent of respondents report that roles are filled with external employees all or most of the time.

"Hiring is far more costly than training, and organisations are already grappling with a skills deficit in the jobs market," says Cairnes. 

"Failing to invest in employee development also has a huge bearing on job satisfaction, morale and retention," she adds.

"Many organisations are missing out on the positive financial impact and increased performance of upskilling their employees to take on new roles, and are missing an opportunity to reduce attrition by providing a compelling experience for their employees."