As the world continues to wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic workers are taking it upon themselves to retool and retrain to prepare for the inevitable changes happening in the workplace. 

HP Inc. this week released the results of its HP Workforce Evolution Study (WES) that reveals how the acceleration of digitization and remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for reskilling, with 6 in 10 office workers in the U.S. and Europe agreeing that lifelong learning is now more important than ever before.

In the face of decreased job security, HP’s study identifies a new trend in the rise of the “Empowered Employee” – office workers who are retraining themselves with the skills needed to succeed beyond their current roles and for the future of work. More than 40% are doing so through online programs, like HP LIFE — a free, skills-training program for entrepreneurs, business owners, and lifelong learners all over the world — that has seen an impressive 282% growth in signups compared to the same period in 2019.

With 35% of employees surveyed more likely to start their own companies with the new skills they gain, HP’s survey also examines what actions employers must take to ensure they are providing employees with the support, equipment, training and flexibility required to attract and retain top talent.

Last summer, Microsoft launched a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. This initiative will bring together every part of the company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft.  

It is grounded in three areas of activity:

(1) The use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them;

(2) Free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require;

(3) Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide assist the people who need it most. One-quarter of this total, or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that are led by and serve communities of color in the United States.

For more information about online employees reskilling and retraining, click below:

Reskilling: Tapping the talent pool

Digital transformation requires upskilling and reskilling

Reskilling The Workforce Goes Beyond Technology

How Strategic Investment in Employee Education Pays Off

Upskill and Reskill for a Better Employee Experience