Greater investment is required in Learning and Development (L&D ) to help Irish businesses prepare for the future of work. That’s according to new industry-led research by Trainers’ Learning Skillnet and the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD ). The research is authored by Professor David Collings and Dr John McMackin of DCU Business School and funded by Skillnet Ireland.
The report, titled Enabling the Workforce of the Future: The Role of Learning and Development highlights the challenges posed by new technologies to the current skills base of the Irish workforce. This research is an excellent example of collaboration between Skillnet Ireland, IITD and DCU to conduct focussed research that will yield actionable results for industry. The research was conducted over a 12 month period with over 300 L&D and HR professionals representing various industries. Organisations that participated in the research included Dell, EY, Glanbia, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Kerry Group, PWC, Ulster Bank, VHI, Vodafone, Zurich Insurance, as well as inputs from SMEs.
Technology has already begun to change the way people work in Ireland. The report identifies where improvements in technology and connectivity facilitate more flexible work and a greater exchange of skills between organisations and individuals. The report also found that preparing for the future of work is a high priority for 4 in 10 respondents. However, many professionals in the field felt underprepared for the technological forces and skills needs required to grasp the Future of Work.
The report found that organisations who were more advanced in enabling the workforces of the future were proactive in engaging with the threats and opportunities resulting from advances in technology and specifically AI and robotics. They had a clear sense of the potential value of digitisation to their organisations and their strategy could be driven by a focus on sustainability, customer service or developing people capabilities. Clear communication with employees was also central to the process of ensuring the success of such programmes.