Accenture is advising leaders to focus on enhancing skills, creating a learning ecosystem and activating untapped talent pools to help Ireland prepare for the future of work.
A new Accenture report released today (4 March) suggests that many workers in Ireland aren’t confident in their skills. The company has published a three-point action plan around reskilling to address this, through which it hopes to provide “a starting point for a talent-rich Ireland”.
The report, called Talent for Tomorrow: Reskilling to Power Ireland’s Economy, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 people either in work or looking for work aged between 18 and 66. It says that less than 30pc of respondents felt very prepared for finding a new job. At 56pc, a little more than half said they felt very well equipped to perform their current job. However, that fell to 28pc when they were asked how they’d fare at finding a new one.
That applied to internal progression too, according to Accenture. Again, less than 30pc said the skills they currently have would allow them to progress in their current role and only 27pc said their skills would help them get ready for future roles in an evolving workplace.
Overcoming this gap and reskilling workers in Ireland hinges on three focus areas, Accenture says, with a need to enhance skills present in the existing talent pool, create a learning ecosystem that works for all and activate untapped talent pools.
And employees themselves are being proactive, too. The report says that 75pc of respondents have done skills training to boost their employment opportunities in the past year. Of the 25pc who haven’t, almost three-quarters said they had no plans to undertake training in the next 12 months either. Some said this was an access issue – that they hadn’t been offered any training opportunities – while others said they didn’t they needed any.
Access was important to many of the participants, with 74pc saying they believed that businesses have a responsibility to invest in upskilling their staff. Half felt that businesses are cutting back on their investments in skills, while 44pc said businesses are not willing to invest in ‘people like me’.
For companies that want to up their game, participants said that funding and high-quality learning experiences would motivate them to complete more training.
Alastair Blair, country managing director for Accenture in Ireland, commented that the findings are an important signal a year on from the start of the pandemic.
“The economic and social impact is evident throughout the world and across our country,” he said. “Ireland needs to revisit its talent pipeline to help prepare for economic recovery and a new wave of growth.
“The risk is that large sections of the population will not be able to catch the wave. According to our new survey, they will miss emerging job opportunities because they lack skills, which will leave a hole in the workforce that could impact Ireland’s innovation potential and attractiveness for businesses large and small, and as a place for local and indigenous businesses, as well as foreign direct investment, to thrive.”
Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.