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Continuing education as a mean of retaining skilled workers

Workshop, speaker is in the background with a presentation on the wall, the audience is in the foreground. One person takes a photo of the presentation on the wall.

Further training is essential for attracting and retaining employees. Photo: Messe Berlin

The Bitkom Academy's 2023 continuing education study offers exciting insights on how continuing education courses impact employee satisfaction and retention. In cooperation with HRpepper Management Consultants, the Bitkom Academy conducted the study for the fourth time and surveyed more than 1,100 professionals from various industries – including managers, directors, executives and employees without executive positions.

The study reveals that continuing education and coaching are considered important by professionals of all ages. 91 percent of those aged 16 to 29 and 85 percent of those over 60 value the development of their skills. However, many companies lack a systematic and strategic approach to workforce development.

Further training - yes, further training strategy - no?

The study shows that in many companies the development of skilled workers is not systematically and strategically anchored. Although 70 percent of the respondents rate their employer's training and coaching options positively, more than half (58 percent) are unsure whether their employer has a training strategy at all. This illustrates that further training should not only be seen as a benefit but is crucial for the success of a company.

"The results of the study make it clear that further training should not only be seen as a benefit but is essential for the success of a company. In today's world, upskilling one's workforce is critical to remaining competitive and creating innovation. Companies that recognize this will also be able to attract the best talent," says Anja Olsok, Managing Director of Bitkom Akademie.

Further training as a means of recruiting and retaining skilled workers

Through targeted training measures, companies can position themselves as attractive employers and have a clear competitive advantage over other companies. This transformation requires employers to revamp their HR development measures, update existing training programs, and adapt to the demands of digital transformation.

Other important results of the continuing education study:

- 84 percent of the respondents consider it important to expand digital competences through further training.

- Nearly half of the respondents (49 percent) rate their company's training on innovative digital technologies such as generative AI as poor or very poor.

- 8 out of 10 employees consider it necessary to develop digital competencies and soft skills.

Conclusion

In summary, the study shows that a positive evaluation alone is not enough to attract and retain the best talents. Employers need to understand their employees' needs and enhance long-term training opportunities. Training, particularly in digital and soft skills, plays a key role in employee retention. Systematic planning and communication, including a clear training strategy, are necessary unleash the full potential of skill development.

The study also emphasizes that further training programs do not only provide knowledge, but also show appreciation and security. To succeed and adapt to technological changes, both companies and employees must prioritize ongoing education.

The entire continuing education study is available for download here.

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