Upskilling for competitiveness and employability

Keep the pace and invest in the skills of the future

UPskill. Now.    

For governments struggling with the ‘unemployable’, businesses suffering from a dearth of skilled workers and markets trapped by languishing revenue, this book provides a roadmap to an exciting and bright future. Intellectual Capital is very dependent upon our deeper understanding of how to effectively design and implement upskilling initiatives.

Laurent Probst & Christian Scharff have cracked the code. Instrumental in the development and implementation of SkillsBridge (www.skillsbridge.lu) for the Luxembourg government. They now implement this sustainable solution throughout the world.

This book looks at the impact of technological growth and purposeful action. It provides a solution to one of the most critical but soft infrastructure issues faced by society today; the life cycle of practical skills and the sustainable span of professional knowledge.

Upskill! A 6 Step Solution to Sustaining Economic Opportunity for All, outlines strategies, actions and policies that enable government, business and society to work together, in lock-step, to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future.

Our Experts

Laurent Probst, Partner, PwC Luxembourg, Government Digital Transformation & Innovation Leader

Laurent Probst is a Partner at PwC Luxembourg and leads the Government Digital Transformation and Innovation activities. He is the founder and partner of PwC’s Accelerator Network, building the export capacities of thousands of innovative EU companies. Laurent works with governments and international institutions, leading strategic projects focused on the adoption of digital transformation for sustained economic development. His focus is to remedy the increasing skills gap that limits economic growth potential through two major projects: EU 2030 High-tech Skills Vision and Strategy Development for the EU manufacturing industry, and the development and implementation of a national upskilling solution (www.skillsbridge.lu) for the Luxembourg government. Laurent created two coding schools to upskill and enable employment of workers in tech-related, sustainable jobs. Additionally, he was appointed as an advisor to the UNDP for the development of the Global Knowledge Index and has recently produced the Future of Knowledge Report for UNDP and MBRF (www.knowledge4all.org).

Christian Scharff, Partner, PwC Luxembourg People & Organisation HR Technology Leader 

Christian Scharff is a Partner at PwC Luxembourg, leading the People & Organisation practice. He coordinates EMEA HR Technology activities and advises companies in Europe on technology and its consequence to human resource management. He is a recognised expert in the deployment of major HR ERP systems like Workday and SuccessFactors, and has worked on projects related to Rifkin’s 3rd Industrial Revolution (Luxembourg government (www.tirlux.lu]), revamping university business plans (Advisory Board Member, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI [Moscow Engineering Physics Institute]), and supporting organisational CSR journeys (Inspiring More Sustainability Luxembourg (www.imslux.lu) & Luxembourg Diversity Charter (www.chartediversite.lu/en). With his colleague Laurent, he created the Luxembourg upskilling programme and co-leads its international deployment. Christian holds a degree in HR Management from HEC Saint Louis (Brussels) and a postgraduate degree in management from the Solvay (Brussels) Business School. He attended the Advanced Management Programme (INSEAD, Fontainebleau). 

Upskill! A 6 Step Solution

Fundamental to every journey is a map that points the way. We present a solution that is already being used by a few visionary governments and businesses to: 1) alleviate economic stress, 2) address current challenges and 3) rewrite the predicted pessimistic future. Communication is integral to the successful implementation of upskilling initiatives, and the heart of this model. Like most organisational change initiatives, engagement and accountability are central to success. This type of initiative requires government, business and individual workers to question their habits. Working together to create sustainable economic opportunities and jobs demands that leaders and sponsors act as role models. Everyone has a role to play. Each group must take steps to align strategically to ensure full and meaningful use of resources. The Return on Investment of upskilling is substantial; every €1 spent to upskill an at-risk worker nets out €2 in savings and revenue generation.

Our roadmap is built on simple principles. Anyone who has organisational development or change management exposure will recognise and embrace the familiar operational elements. This approach obliges key stakeholder groups to put away ineffective agendas and antagonistic strategies. It compels everyone to have conversations that create understanding and buy-in for the new paradigm.

01 - Analyse, define Upskilling initiative

Objective: Define the upskilling strategy of a territory, industry or a corporation. Preparatory steps are an essential element in the success of any upskilling initiative.

Outcome: Precise scope, budget, implementation and stakeholders engagement plan.

02 - Design corporate workforce plan skills plan

Objective: Translate technology & digital investment plans into human capital development plans.

Outcome: Forecast FTEs, future jobs (automation), & skills portfolio. Create annual diversity & workforce skills plan.

03 - Perform individual assessment & advice

Objective: Assess employees, identify skills, achievements & motivation.

Outcome: Cross-fertilisation. Increased understanding of employee motivators and company's intent.

04 - Match Jobs & engage workers

Objective: Match employees (existing skills, motivation, profile alignment) to future jobs.

Outcome: Increased employee mobility, Upskilling contract between workers & organisation with future job.

05 - Select trainings & providers

Objective: Ensure streamlined, effective training programme to upskill worker.

Outcome: High level of employability & worker motivation. Effective collaboration between worker, corporation, association/unions & government accelerated job placement

06 - Monitor, evaluate & improve policy

Objective: Ensure transversal continuous improvement & communicate successes

Outcome: Streamlined programme administration, market alignment, "good news" stories, clear understanding of potential job scenarios, clear return of investment

Upskilling has become, more than ever, the indispensable response to the ongoing technological and economic transformation. It is an essential element of a new ‘social contract’ which the new technological changes require if we want them to represent an opportunity for all.

Nicolas Schmit, former Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy Luxembourg

As many countries anticipate stagnating growth rates in the coming years, Upskill, 6 Steps to Unlock Economic Opportunity for All, lays out a simple but effective strategy for human capital investment. This book offers a superb incentive for governments, industry and social society to work together to ensure not only continued economic well-being, but meaningful work for the individual.

Leif Edvinsson, Professor Emeritus, University of Lund, Sweden and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Brain of the Year Awardee, 1998, by Brain Trust, UK.

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Contact us

Christian Scharff

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2051

Laurent Probst

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2199

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