Reskilling and Upskilling: 3 Examples of Successful Programs Done Right

The World Economic Forum states that half of the world’s workforce will need some form of reskilling or upskilling by 2025.

reskilling and upskilling

The advances and introduction of new technology such as artificial intelligence(AI), cloud computing and machine learning are forcing companies to change the way they combat the ever-growing skills gaps. One proven way companies are lessening these gaps is by introducing new learning and development initiatives, such as reskilling and upskilling programs.

Since the pandemic and within the last few years alone, the number of companies investing in reskilling and upskilling programs has increased by 15 percent. A report from LinkedIn Learning shows that 59 percent of learning and development professionals stated their organizations were prioritizing these initiatives.

With so many companies needing to digitize in the past few years, we’ve seen these initiatives both fail and succeed. Those companies who did it right had a few things in common that we can learn from. Before diving into our list, we first need to define both reskilling and upskilling.

What is upskilling?

Upskilling is the development of existing skills (skills building) through education and training within a particular career path. An example of this would be a software developer looking for a promotion, so they develop and build the skills required for that particular position.

What is reskilling?

Reskilling is similar in that it is the development of skills within a workforce. However,  reskilling differs because the skills an employee learns are for a different job or entirely new role. For example, reskilling programs could transform retail workers into software developers or cloud engineers.

With either reskilling or upskilling as an option, companies are faced with choosing which to prioritize moving forward and deciding the best solution for their workforces. Continue reading as we highlight the three companies that launched reskilling and upskilling programs and learn about how they leveraged their programs for success.

Workforce and Education Nonprofits Kickstart Verizon’s Reskilling Program

To help launch Verizon’s reskilling program, they partnered with JFF and Generation USA with the goal of preparing 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030.

This reskilling program represents a $44 million workforce development investment for unemployed or underemployed workers along with those facing job displacement due to the introduction of automation. The program gives priority to Black and Latinx applicants, women of all races and people without a four-year degree.

JFF led a pilot group of nine participating colleges that aimed to accelerate entry into tech careers and expects the number of participating colleges to increase to 15 in the coming years.

The Verizon Reskilling Program demonstrated the fundamentals for launching a successful program. They partnered with experts who guided them through the process, started at a manageable level from which they could scale and focused on populations facing systemic challenges.

Bank of America’s Solution to Increase Employee Development and Retention

The Academy, Bank of America’s career development initiative, invests in more than 40,000 teammates each year and is available to employees across the organization. It provides onboarding experiences, training opportunities and focuses on career development.

Another of their initiatives targets hiring individuals from low or moderate-income neighborhoods. Along with hiring, the program works with nonprofits to provide skills training and career paths for these individuals.

Bank of America’s reskilling initiatives play important roles in its retention strategy and employee development. By offering skills training and clear paths for career advancement, Bank of America is growing its workforce from within and has seen a dramatic reduction in the attrition rate.

The components of the program that made it successful were two separate offerings, but both pushed for an increase in employee development through skills training and influenced a reduction of the attrition rate. This example of a successful reskilling program highlights the versatility of these initiatives. There can often be several components that go into creating a successful reskilling offering and experienced providers will be able to walk your company through the available options.

Mastercard Leverages a Learning Management System (LMS) for Upskilling Success  

Within the last decade, as financial institutions were competing against startups and fintechs, Mastercard had to adapt its practice of skills building and innovating to stay competitive. To do this, the company fostered a culture of learning and transformed its business by using a learning management system called Degreed.

During the pandemic, Degreed’s online platform proved to be even more beneficial to Mastercard’s learning and development strategy as it was seamlessly transferred to a remote working model. This enabled Mastercard to continue its upskilling efforts in spite of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Mastercard’s virtual learning and leadership development offerings were created with subject matter experts within the organization to ensure the material was relevant regardless of the employee’s function. This method gave a customized learning experience that was not only tailored by function, but also by experience level.

This example highlights the importance of customizable and flexible experiences within reskilling and upskilling programs. By working with subject matter experts and tailoring the employees’ learning experience, Mastercard took a targeted approach to achieve its learning development goals. And by housing this experience on an online learning platform, it created a flexible learning environment that could be adapted for remote workers.

Explore How to Find Success with Reskilling Experts 

There are many ways for companies to reskill and upskill their workforce to combat the challenges of the digitizing world. And as we’ve learned from the examples above, companies of all sizes and varying levels of investments are able to find success when it comes to overcoming these challenges.

By working with an experienced reskilling or upskilling provider you will learn how to establish scalable learning and development systems for your current and future workforce at a time when it’s needed most.

Reach out to our Enterprise Team and learn more about how Tech Elevator’s Reskilling Program can advise and partner with your organization to develop your workforce of the future in a way that’s best for your company and growing teams.

reskilling and upskilling - Meredith Hendershott

Written by Meredith Hendershott, Tech Elevator’s Director of Enterprise Account Management and Delivery