Future proofing your career: upskilling trends of 2023

May 3, 2023
L&D trends

Welcome to the era of rapid technological advancements, where it seems like every day brings a new innovation that changes the way we work. 

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever to future-proof your career by staying up-to-date with the latest trends and skills. That’s where learning and development (L&D) and upskilling comes in by investing in your own professional development, you can stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in your field.

But with so many options available, it can be tough to know which ones are worth your time and effort. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the upskilling trends of 2023 and the employers who are leading the charge. Whether you’re looking to upskill in your current role or make a career change, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll be talking to four professionals from four different employers who have been endorsed by us here at WORK180. They’ll be sharing their insights on the latest trends in L&D within their organizations, so you can get a firsthand look at what’s working and what’s not. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the skills you need to stay ahead in your career, as well as the employers who are best positioned to help you get there.

So, if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, read on to learn more!

People-orientated skills are on the rise at Stantec

Here’s what Jodi Kelly, Australia & New Zealand Learning & Development Manager at Stantec had to say: 

A comprehensive talent development program helps people to grow and achieve success through learning delivery methods such as face-to-face, blended, online, and virtual classrooms. Courses offered also strive to attain a balance between professional, technical, and personal growth.

However, a program’s success will also hinge on its ability to reflect industry trends and participants’ changing needs. At Stantec, these three ‘people-oriented’ trends and needs continue to heavily shape our talent management program:

1. It’s getting personal

To stay relevant in a virtual world usually means maximizing technology to engage and connect with people regardless of their location. However, we are seeing an increasing desire from our people to connect in person. As we add more face-to-face training, not only are these sessions highly sought after but the results deliver us rich discussion and the ability for people to build relationships and collaborate.

2. Understanding differences

Even people who enthusiastically embrace diversity can fall victim to unconscious bias. Demand for our unconscious bias training is at an all-time high and we see requests to participate come from an even mix of genders. The benefits are also great; feeling psychologically safe in your workplace is a big contributor to high performance.

3. Well-being

Hybrid working environments are now well accepted, but post-COVID has delivered a greater need for learning and development to focus on well-being and mental health. We talk about it so much more, so it is only natural that our people want to understand it, have the tools to manage it, and our managers want to feel empowered to support their people’s well-being.

Uplifting in leadership capability and confidence at Pitcher Partners Melbourne

Here’s what Angelina Toon (she/her), Learning & Development Senior Advisor at Pitcher Partners  has to say: 

At Pitcher Partners, we offer a wide range of learning for our people designed to enable and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to perform their roles successfully and encourage continuous growth. 

Over the last 12 months, women at Pitcher Partners have maintained a strong focus on developing their technical knowledge and skills. The training we provide covers a large assortment of topics such as tax-related legislation and cases, auditing, accounting, and much more.

‘Making business personal’ is at the heart of every interaction we have with our clients. This is reflected through the high uptake of training designed to share knowledge and experience about the ‘big picture’ of business and our clients by helping our people to understand key business issues, apply knowledge, and build the confidence to act. Some topics which had high uptake from women include: ‘Digital Journey for Clients’, ‘Automation in Practice’, ‘Blockchain 101’, and ‘Preparing for an economic downturn’.

There has also been a strong interest from women in leadership development, which aligns with our recently launched and redesigned leadership programs. With a constantly evolving landscape, there is a growing need for leaders who can navigate complex environments and a variety of stakeholders. It is increasingly important for leaders to take the time to examine how their leadership approach can not only support but elevate this new era of business. 

Our leadership programs have been purposefully designed to enable an uplift in leadership capability and confidence, practical application of how to lead within our context, and sustained behavioral change and appreciation for future leadership capabilities through a series of workshops, peer coaching, and an immersion experience. 

We recognize the importance of investing in our leaders at all levels, which is why the structure of our leadership programs have been designed to tailor for each stage our people progress throughout their career. This ensures that the nuances leaders experience at different levels can be woven into the relevant program.

We also offer a range of professional development sessions, with the most popular topics among women being: ‘Communicating with Impact’, ‘Project Management’, and ‘Influencing and Managing Up’. Another area women are interested in is mental health and well-being. Pitcher Partners equips our people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to provide support to individuals facing mental health issues through Mental Health First Aid Training. Of the people registered for an upcoming Mental Health First Aid Training session, 74% are women.

Tailoring learning to your natural strengths at The Star Entertainment Group

Here’s what Rachel Kilderry (she/her), Assistant Gaming Manager, at The Star has to say:

I’ve seen significant changes in the learning and development space over the years. The focus has shifted from work-based knowledge to a paradigm that builds on team members’ strengths and empowers team members to deliver memorable guest experiences. These courses are accessible on multiple platforms, and our Gaming Leadership Development Programs have become more engaging and interactive.

Personality profiling tools are increasingly integrated into learning and development, and more women are using tools, such as Gallup, to identify their natural talents and strengths. By understanding their personal strengths, they can improve their performance, team engagement, and personal growth.

Women are increasingly interested in training and development programs that help them achieve their professional and personal goals and navigate unique workplace challenges. These programs provide them with the skills, knowledge, and support needed to succeed in their careers and achieve their full potential.

Overall, I’ve witnessed a positive shift towards empowering team members and promoting personal development in the industry. It’s inspiring to see how many women are taking advantage of these opportunities and striving to reach their full potential.

Emphasizing face-to-face learning opportunities at Whitehaven Coal

Here’s whatJane Engel – Senior Advisor – Organizational Development and Group HR at Whitehaven Coal has to say:

Over the past eighteen months, Whitehaven’s learning has been focused on developing leadership skills and upskilling existing leaders. As part of this push, we have been emphasizing face-to-face learning opportunities, rather than all virtual, so that networking and sharing experiences are part of the learning experience.

We have introduced a one-day Leadership Essentials program for all People Leaders to equip them with the basics required to lead their teams.

Whitehaven also offers a three-day Frontline Leader program that builds on leadership capability for existing, and high-potential leaders, and ties the achievement of commercial outcomes with values-based behavior. 

A significant investment is also being made to provide targeted development for women within the organization as part of the 2026 target to increase both female participation in the workforce and women in leadership.

Additionally, we are adapting to new ways of integrating technology into learning experiences and have offered asynchronous microlearning and 1:1 coaching as an extension of the Frontline Leader program so that employees are able to access development when and where it suits them.

Discover more about these Endorsed Employers

Pitcher Partners Melbourne
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The Star Entertainment Group
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Whitehaven Coal
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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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