Ever done a training course at work and felt you didn’t learn much?
You’re not alone.
A new report from Deloitte Access Economics and RMIT Online released on Tuesday found that workers were missing out on pay rises worth up to $10,000 a year due to poor training opportunities – a skills gap that could cost the economy as much as $10 billion over the next four years.
One in four people aren’t even confident they’re qualified for the jobs they’re currently doing, let alone the jobs now being created in the post-pandemic digital boom, the economy-wide survey of 1078 workers found.
Deloitte Access Economics partner John O’Mahony was “startled” by the findings, which he said demonstrated a worrying lack of awareness in emerging fields.
“I’m not surprised that most people aren’t experts in blockchain, artificial intelligence or data. I’m surprised most don’t even know what they are,” he said.
Only about half of workers reported having access to training through their employer, and of those who undertook training 47 per cent said it either didn’t teach them anything new, or wasn’t relevant to their jobs and career goals.
Only 11 per cent said they studied a short course or micro credential last year, while just 5 per cent were studying for a certificate or diploma.
IT shortage looms
Mr O’Mahony said employers had to shift away from the mindset of importing workers to bridge gaps in skills, particularly with borders still shut.
Instead, he told The New Daily businesses must invest in training local workers.
“Over the next five years, we’re going to need another 156,000 information technology workers … we’re only graduating about 5000 [each year],” he warned.
“[Without] people with the right skills, it will hold back our pandemic recovery.”
Surveyed staff said they mostly improved soft skills last year, while technical learning in data analysis and programming fell behind.
Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small Businesses of Australia, agreed businesses were struggling to connect workers to the relevant training opportunities.
“What’s missing is a broker, someone who can connect employers and employees to training organisations,” Mr Strong told The New Daily.
“If you go to your employer and say you’d like to have better skills, that’s fine, but find the course, identify what you need … it helps if you do that work for them.”
Which short courses could net you a pay rise?
The good news is, workers don’t have to quit working and go back to uni to net a pay rise.
Instead, they’re better off taking their existing administrative skills and adding new technical components through shorter, program-specific courses.
“Someone working in a traditional clerical role might be able to do a short course in something like information security [and then] move into a role related to cybersecurity,” Mr O’Mahony said.
Those that take the leap will be able to demand higher wages, while businesses that do their bit can expect more productive workers in return.
Workers transitioning from professional services to technology roles could increase their pay by $10,000 a year, Deloitte found, particularly because jobs in data analysis, cyber security, and programming are in high demand post-pandemic.
In-demand software skills include Apache Kafta, Microsoft Azure, Docker Software, ServiceNow and Confluence, the report found.
Meanwhile, separate research from Burning Glass Technologies, which analysed job ads, found that computer network systems and information officer roles were among the most wanted vocations.