Up-skilling: a silver bullet for businesses in an economic downturn

Friday, Apr 07, 2023 11:43

Greg Brown, CEO of Udemy, the world's leading training platform, presented at the seminar. — Photo courtesy of FUNiX

Vietnamese tech firms are acutely aware of the need for regular up-skilling, but many are struggling to keep pace with the latest developments in training, according to a recent seminar held in Ha Noi.

The event, "Staying ahead of the curve during economic slowdown", was convened to discuss potential solutions for businesses grappling with the prospect of a global economic downturn in 2023.

Nguyen Hung Son, a member of VINASA's standing committee, highlighted the challenges facing Vietnamese companies as they seek to optimise their use of training resources. Many firms remain unfamiliar with the latest technology-powered learning services, he said.

Greg Brown, CEO of Udemy, the world's foremost training platform, offered insights into global trends shaping up-skilling efforts across organisations.

These include an ageing population, the growing importance of skills over qualifications, job mobility, a hybrid workforce, and rapid digital transformation.

Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and volatility, Brown warned that the global economy is now in a steep slowdown, with even a moderate hit capable of tipping it into recession.

According to the latest report by the World Bank, after a year of uncertainty in 2022, the world economy is precariously balanced.

In these uncertain times, it’s even more crucial for employers to bridge the skills gap.

“By building integrated learning programs, organisations can turn the tide and find new revenue streams through up-skilling their teams,” Brown said.

Brown’s presentation showed some thought-provoking statistics. One study of three million workers highlighted career development as a top driver of employee engagement.

Low employee engagement caused organisations an estimated US$7.8 trillion per year, or 11 per cent of global GDP.

By fostering a learning culture, businesses are 2.6 times more likely to exceed financial targets and 7.2 times more likely to engage and retain employees.

Organisations with the most engaged employees are 23 per cent more profitable. Loyal employees also typically plan to stay 6-10 more years than other employees

Udemy CEO also shared success stories of Udemy's customers, such as Panasonic, Booz Allen - the world's leading consulting firm, Eventbrite - a global self-service ticketing platform, and Lyft - a Silicon Valley-based ride-sharing tech company.

With its Marketplace model, Udemy is one of the world's biggest Massive Open Online courses (MOOC) platforms. Udemy's partners have experienced 18–20 per cent growth thanks to investment in employee learning.

Le Dinh Thinh, Talent Development Lead at One Mount, proposed applying agile thinking to business up-skilling. For example, it should be flexible and timely rather than perfect.

Thinh brought up the concept of "Buy and Build", in which "Buy" is to attract talent with benefits, and "Build" is to retain them by establishing a learning path for each position.

At One Mouth, Udemy's in-depth analytics on users has given management valuable insights to provide timely support to learners.

A learning solution highly recommended by panellists is to take advantage of online learning platforms and help employees build learning habits by providing personalized, on-demand content. As employees apply what they learn to their work, a learning culture is formed, enabling organisations to adapt quickly to unpredictable market changes.

Udemy's CEO expressed the belief that for learning to be effective, businesses need to build learning programs to match what they need. To do so, they should enlist support from professional learning solution providers.

At the seminar, Brown introduced Udemy Business, a robust employee training and development platform trusted by more than 14,000 companies worldwide. It boasts 59 million learners and more than 200,000 online courses designed by 71,000 instructors.

FUNiX, an online learning platform specializing in IT Professional training, is Udemy’s exclusive partner in Viet Nam.

According to Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Director of the Enterprise Training Academy under FUNiX, the two companies are both committed to equipping learners with practical, in-demand skills, thereby enhancing businesses’ competitive edge.

Since signing a partnership agreement in May 2022, FUNiX and Udemy have worked together to provide nearly 2,000 courses with Vietnamese subtitles and original content designed by local experts on Udemy Business.

The platform aims to provide content which can meet virtually all upskilling needs of Vietnamese businesses. — VNS

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