The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched a Closing the Skills Gap 2020 initiative, with the aim of upskilling 10 million people by 2020.

It’s also calling for top global businesses to lead training, reskilling and upskilling projects between 2018 and 2020.

The move comes as new research suggests 96% of all workers at threat from new technology could find similar or even better work through training.

In England and Wales, half of employers also believe Brexit will exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers.

Of more than 1300 employers surveyed, 65% said they faced a shortage of skilled workers this year, while 50% believed leaving the EU in March 2019 would make matters worse.

Research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the proportion of workers whose level of training matches their job has been falling steadily since 2012.

While this skills gap is clearly a challenge for companies, it’s also an opportunity for those looking to seize the moment and step up to the next level of their career.

Whether you work in sectors as varied as manufacturing and sales, or marketing and PR, nothing stands still for long.

Technology is ever-changing and there are always new ways of doing things.

Upskilling gives you the momentum and tools to secure or fast-track your career – and there are many ways to do this.

In fact, research by Groupon shows that of the 30% of workers who up-skilled in the five years to 2017, 17% secured a pay rise as a direct result. Bonus!

Company training

Many employers, keen to hire new starts, offer on-the-job training.

When applying for a new role, always ask what opportunities for upskilling are available. This will help you decide whether this is a firm where you can grow your career but also shows your enthusiasm for learning.

Independent training

Whether working online from home or at a learning centre, there is a course out there that can fit around work and family life. There are also plenty of ways to access free or partially funded study in England and Wales.

The Open University is a popular option if you’re looking to accelerate your career.

Night classes

If you can think of a skill or interest, chances are there’s a night class that covers it. From learning computing to mastering the art of sales calls, there are plenty of further learning classes to get stuck into. Check out your local college website for details.


Voluntary work is a great way to try new things, meet new people and, of course, it looks great on your CV. The organisational and communication skills you put to use in charity work will also benefit your career.

Check out all the new opportunities in Sales, Marketing and PR as well as Production and Manufacturing now . . . and seize your chance to accelerate your career.