In a constantly changing business world, it has never been more important for your employees to keep their skills up to date, whether to grow in their current roles or expand their knowledge base for a promotion.

Innovations in technology will result in new skills becoming more in demand, whilst other skills may drop off the map entirely. In fact, LinkedIn Learning’s ‘2023 Workplace Learning Report’ predicts that job skill sets are set to change by 50% by 2027.

One of the main ways to ensure your staff are ahead of the game is by upskilling them, but there are some preconceptions that can make this seem challenging. Here are some of the top myths around upskilling to consider…

Myth #1 – Upskilling is a one-off

Upskilling isn’t as simple as going on a course and then calling it a day; it is a continuous cycle of bespoke learning and development.

Amy Sergison, partner in our employment team, is no stranger to helping businesses upskill their workforce – she regularly plans and delivers employment law training to a range of businesses.

She says: “As an employer, it’s important that your staff have regular access to training options to ensure their knowledge is up to date. At Muckle, we have an ongoing programme of training available annually, so that our clients can pick and choose topics that are most relevant to them”.

Myth #2 – Upskilling only applies to formal qualifications

Although upskilling can include formal qualifications, it covers a much wider remit of training and can be delivered in a range of styles.

Upskilling covers both hard and soft skills. Technical, or ‘hard’, skills, are specific skills needed to do a particular job, which can include using certain programs or software as well as task-based skills. ‘Soft’ skills are linked to people’s personalities and can apply to a range of roles and responsibilities.

Amy agrees, saying: “The training we deliver for clients tends to be technical, but some of our events focus on soft skills, like our HR book club. Regardless, we’ve found that clients enjoy a mixture of training formats, ranging from 1-hour training sessions that anyone can book, to bespoke in-person workshops for a particular client”.

Myth #3 – Upskilling is only needed to change jobs

Research has shown the opposite – that skills training is a key factor in people staying in their jobs. For example, a 2022 People Management survey showed that 78% of people surveyed would like to learn new skills in their role, but that 60% of people left a job due to limited training opportunities.

In fact, upskilling can even go one step further and, by improving your internal skillsets, ease your reliance on external advisers, saving you time and money and helping your employees thrive. Amy says, “All of our training is designed to give employees the knowledge and tools that they need to handle issues in-house, rather than fall back on external advisers. This increases employees’ confidence in their roles and helps businesses run more smoothly”.

Myth #4 – Upskilling is costly

Whilst upskilling can be costly – in both money and time – the costs can very much outweigh the benefits. For employers, it is more cost-effective to upskill existing employees rather than hire and train new ones. For employees, taking a little bit of time out of their day-to-day roles can help them become more efficient, saving time in the long run.

Additionally, low cost doesn’t equal low quality. Amy says: “Free training is still a great option, regardless of the size of your training budget. We make sure that we offer training from a range of price points to ensure we try to cover as many skill levels as possible.”

Enhance your skills with Muckle

Investing in a continuous programme of upskilling benefits both employers and employees. Employers stay competitive by having highly skilled workers, whilst employees are empowered and more comfortable in their jobs.

Our current upskilling opportunities include charity trustee training and several data protection training sessions, with more events planned. Head over to our events page to find out more.