With research showing 45% of companies around the world are planning to restructure this year, one of the top talent trends that emerged for 2021 has been a drive to reskill and upskill employees. 

According to a new study by Instant Offices, a Global Workspace Specialist, the UK is one of the most talent competitive countries, spending up to £1000 per employee. 

Interestingly, China, Australia and Hong Kong are all in the top five, showing that the APAC region is most focused on investing in training their employees.

TOP 10 COUNTRIES

UPSKILL SPEND PER EMPLOYEE

China

$2000

Middle East

$1500

Australia

$1250

United States

$1200

Hong Kong

$1200

France

$1200

Italy

$1100

United Kingdom

$1000

Germany

$1000

Singapore

$1000

Instant Offices have also provided a breakdown on what skills are being prioritised, incentives and key strategies that are contributing towards employees mental and emotional wellbeing.

Here’s How Much These Countries are Investing in their Talent

While the COVID-19 pandemic felt like it was slowing down progress in the business world in many ways, it has accelerated several key developments in the workplace, which would have taken much longer without the unexpected disruption.

As the new world of work takes shape, one of the top talent trends that emerged for 2021 has been a drive to reskill and upskill employees. Comparing upskilling spend per employee and year-on-year increase, Global Workspace Specialists Instant Offices reveal the top ten countries who are focused on investing in their talent the most.

Upskilling Spend: APAC Countries Leads the Way

The following countries have seen a significant projected year-on-year increase in upskilling and reskilling spend per employee:

Investing-in-employees---Instant-Offices.jpg

Which Skills are Companies Prioritising? 

This list is dominated by countries in the APAC region, which China, Australia and Hong Kong are all in the top 5.

The skills currently taking top priority when it comes to reskilling employees (i.e. those which have seen the biggest year-on-year increase) are:

  • Interpersonal skills and empathy
  • Project management
  • Leadership and managing others
  • Basic digital skills
  • Adaptability and continuous learning
  • Quantitative and statistical skills
  • Critical thinking and decision-making

Various countries adopted temporary policies to help protect the jobs and incomes of the population by incentivising employers to retain their workers despite the financial challenges of 2020.

Wage subsidies:

The UK offered a maximum payment of £580 per employee per week via wage subsidies. Ireland provided £360 per week, while Australia paid the equivalent of $410 and Canada £500 per week.

Unemployment benefits:

For those with an initial offering in place, the UK provided claimants with an extra £20 per week, Australia paid $150 extra per week, and the US paid an extra $600 per week.

Work from home allowance:

With the sharp rise in remote working during the pandemic, more workplaces are also being encouraged to cover employees for expenses incurred while working at home (such as electricity or laptop repairs).

According to a McKinsey survey, 69% of respondents say they have seen an increase in skill-building during the pandemic, and 58% say that closing skill gaps has become a higher priority for their companies since it started. However, skill-building as a strategy is outstripping other key methods of closing skill gaps, such as hiring, contracting, redeploying and releasing.

Investment in Mental and Emotional Health

With the growing need for empathy in mind, more companies say they plan to promote long-term health goals for their employees in the future. The most popular strategies are:

  • Add benefits to address mental or emotional health issues: 47%
  • Enable remote and digital health-check services: 36%
  • Include a mental or emotional wellbeing strategy: 33%
  • Add services to address physical health issues: 29%
  • Train managers to notice signs of mental health issues: 29%

As some employees try to cope with the anxiety of returning to work and others continue to navigate the emotional challenges of working remotely, more companies must start seriously investing in the wellbeing of their people.

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