About a third of workplace roles have changed since COVID-19 and most Australians don’t have the skills they need to do their job effectively. The future will become even more of a challenge. As the economy changes, there is a recognised need for developed skills in data science and analytics, health and medicine, and web app and software development. Yet according to a survey out of RMIT, more than half the Australians who participated had little to no understanding of coding, blockchain, artificial intelligence and data visualisation. While these high-level technical skills are in demand, there’s no doubt that soft skills are also highly valuable – employees who have and use soft skills are 3% more productive and worth almost $2,000 more per year to a business using less of these skills. To upskill your staff for business growth you have a few options. You can let your existing staff go and employ new staff with the specific skills needed (a costly and time-consuming exercise); You can take advantage of Government programs and generous training subsidies currently available to upskill your existing staff; You can contact experts from Australia or even overseas to provide your existing staff with the skills they need onsite. One of the greatest things about upskilling your existing staff is the knowledge they have of your business and the loyalty they have towards you as an employer. Yet despite this, Australian businesses spend $7 billion on recruiting new workers with the right skills, and only $4 billion on training and developing the skills of existing employees. Training your existing staff not only develops the skills and capabilities you need for business growth, but it also builds further loyalty and helps with staff retention – did you know that over 20% of Australians would prefer $1,000 to spend on training every year, rather than $50 more each week in their pay packets? Of course, the way you train and upskill your staff will depend on the skills they have today and the skills they’re going to need to take your business forward. Here are a few pointers to take into consideration when you start planning your training approach: Develop a dedicated training strategy and budget so training becomes a core business activity, with a manager responsible for administering and ongoing improvement, Conduct an audit of current skills and determine how this compares to future needs, Ask staff about their training preferences to ensure programs align with their preferences as well as needs, Plan your training so it doesn’t conflict with deadlines or time commitments that add pressure to the staff and/ or the business, Continuously evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of training programs and strategy to ensure they meet your needs, and Apply skills immediately to ensure new learnings are reinforced rather than lost. Bring in the Experts Contracting people with the expertise you need is a great way to get high level skills in place immediately then upskill your existing staff over time as they learn on the job. As one of few companies approved by the Australian Department of Immigration to hire and on hire international workers, the Ayers Group can help you arrange Visas for international workers that have the skills you need. You can also take advantage of our payroll and contract management services to minimise the administrative effort required to bring contractors on board. Contact an expert at the Ayers Group today to find out more.