New York — Nov. 16
The majority (55 percent) of workers in the U.S. report they are under pressure to develop additional skills to be successful in their current and future jobs, but only 21 percent say they have acquired new skills through company-provided formal training during the past five years, according to a study released by Accenture.
The Accenture Skills Gap Study, which surveyed 1,088 employed and unemployed U.S. workers, found that while more than half (52 percent) have added technology skills in the past five years, few have updated other in-demand skills such as problem solving (31 percent), analytical skills (26 percent) and managerial skills (21 percent).
The study also found that more than 68 percent of workers believe it’s primarily their own responsibility, rather than their employer’s responsibility, to update their skills. However, only 53 percent of unemployed workers report they understand which skills are likely to be in demand in the next five years, compared to 80 percent of employed workers.
“There is an escalating talent crisis and employers should not assume that workers have the resources or knowledge to acquire all the skills they will need,” said David Smith, managing director, Accenture Talent & Organization. “Our study shows that workers are prepared to improve and expand their skills, but they’re not receiving sufficient support to develop those skills.”
The study suggests that employers may be hindered by not be having a complete picture of all of the skills they have within their organization to handle specific jobs. Just more than half (53 percent) of respondents said their employers document their skills, but more than a third (38 percent) said their employers look only at specific job experience and education to match employees to jobs rather than looking at all of their talents and capabilities.
Limited ability to shift employees to different jobs within their organizations may also be preventing companies from fully utilizing their workers’ skills. Only one-third (34 percent) of respondents report it is easy to move to another job within their company where their skills would best be utilized, and slightly less than half of respondents (49 percent) report their employer does a good job of providing a clear understanding of the skills needed for different roles and career paths.
More than one-third (36 percent) of workers say they would be willing to move to another location where demand for their skills is strongest, or where their skills could be put to better use.
Career path choices also are contributing to the skills gap, according to the study. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of all workers say they’ve had to change careers at least once to meet the challenges of the job market. However, only 28 percent report that they had an understanding of the skills required in their new career before making a change.
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