Time to Upskill: Is Your Supply Chain Employee Equipped with 21st Century Skills?

26 January 2022

More than ever, the need to unlearn, relearn and adopt a lifelong learning approach is of the utmost urgency in the supply chain. Upskilling employees in the age of industry 4.0 is becoming a matter of urgency. A 2020 PwC report concluded that 74 percent of CEOs were somewhat concerned about the availability of the right skills.

Read: Upskilling:
Building confidence in an uncertain world

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Disruptive technologies and the Covid-19 pandemic have rattled supply chains and perhaps uncovered a mismatch between supply chain skills of employees and industry requirements. This is the perfect opportunity for organisations to relook at the currency and relevance of workplace training initiatives and thoroughly review the skills set of their workforce. According to Shift, a long-term report by Middlesex University found that from a sample of 4,300 workers, 74 percent felt that they were not by any means achieving their full potential at work and attributed this to lack of development opportunities.

Read: 10 Statistics on Corporate Training and What They Mean for Your Company’s Future

Covid-19 has not made this any easier. Gallup reports that employee engagement decreased globally by two percentage points, from 22 percent in 2019 to 20 percent in 2020. A disengaged employee is not a productive employee, and it is precisely the opposite of what organisations need in a post-pandemic world. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The solution lies partly in training and upskilling employees. Employees are ready to make a change. Teresa Wu, Director at UiPath, reports that of the 4,500 workers surveyed between February and March 2020, 47 percent revealed that they were concerned that their skills would be outdated within five years. In the same report, however, 86 percent would like their employer to provide them with opportunities to learn new skills. Another 83 percent want their employer to offer them more opportunities to improve their present abilities.

Employee fears are also revealed in a PwC report of February 2021. From 32,517 workers polled in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kuwait. Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UAE, UK, and USA, 60 percent were worried that automation is putting many jobs at risk, while 77 percent indicated a readiness to learn new skills or completely retrain.

Read: Hopes and fears 2021

Equipping employees with 21st-century skills on an ongoing basis will be a new norm for successful organisations. It is characteristic of the learning organisation. There is no doubt that upskilling enhances workplace engagement and, in turn, productivity.

Visit our website and get your supply chain employees the necessary skills from our wide range of newly developed courses.


1.    Talent
Trends 2020: Upskilling: Building confidence in an uncertain world

2.    State
of the Global Workplace

3.    New
Research Shows Worker Concerns About Skills Gap

4.    Hopes
and fears 2021: The views of 32,500 workers


Written by Staff Content Writer, Raymond Moyo.