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Episode 35

Strategies for Developing Effective Workforce Skills

Brief description of the episode

Sean Stowers, CEO, and Chief Learning Officer at WeLearn, discusses the concept of personalization in learning. He highlights the importance of empathy for learners, understanding their diverse relationships with learning, and addressing any barriers they may face. Sean also discusses the idea of radical reskilling and emphasizes that opportunities for upskilling and reskilling can often be more mundane and require personalized, hands-on support for individuals who may have been left behind in terms of educational attainment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Historically, learning and development investments have primarily focused on white-collar knowledge workers, while frontline and transient roles received less attention. However, there has been a shift in recognizing the worthiness of investing in all employees, regardless of their job level or turnover rates.
  • Organizations like Amazon, McDonald’s, and Guild Education offer employee education benefits, including GED programs, English language training, and post-secondary certifications.
  • Organizations must invest in training and development for all employees, not just specific roles, to tackle diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) challenges.
  • Reskilling and upskilling involve mundane tasks, hands-on involvement, and intensive support, particularly for individuals with limited education opportunities.
  • The populations in need of reskilling often have different educational backgrounds and relationships with learning compared to others. Their journey may require more personalized and intensive approaches.
  • The focus should be on equipping individuals with the skills necessary to improve their prospects, even if they may not reach the highest-paying positions.
  • The focus on allied health roles is expected to expand, offering a wider range of pathways. While associate’s degrees are often promoted, they are often not required, causing high turnover and student debt. The education for these roles will likely expand, considering alternative pathways and reducing debt burdens.
  • AI can assist in career counseling and academic advising by acting as an advisor, using natural language processing and bots in learning ecosystems to explore interests, skills, and career paths.
  • AI has the potential to provide personalized career and learning recommendations based on an individual’s profile, aiding informed decisions about their future.

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