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Elearning: difference between reskilling and upskilling

Do you know the difference between the terms "reskilling" and "upskilling"? It is essential to know it in order to create training programs in line with the needs of companies.

At corporate and training level, it is essential to know the difference between " upskilling" and " reskilling". The first term means retraining, a sort of "update" of the skills of an employee. In the second case, however, the term directly indicates the learning of new skills and abilities useful for a new job within the company.

This difference is critical for companies to understand which training path is most useful for their employees. As a result, eLearning providers are able to understand what types of online courses they can offer based on the needs of organizations. What might be the occasions when the need arises to create an upskilling or reskilling course? Here are the main ones:

  • Promoting the employee within the company: this is an example where both upskilling and reskilling pathways may be needed. If the employee is going to take on new responsibilities within their role, they will need to upgrade their core competencies to a higher level. If, on the other hand, an employee is being moved to a completely new department due to a company downsizing or simply because they have the perfect skills for another role, in this case you will need to provide them with the training that will allow them to directly acquire new skills.
  • When new tools are introduced: technology is constantly advancing, so it's likely that the company may introduce a new digital tool or process. In this case, too, the paths can be either upskilling or reskilling depending on the new tool introduced. Are skills already acquired in the past useful, or is it necessary to create a training path that teaches how to use the new tool from scratch?
  • Changes in compliance: regulations can change often, and it's imperative that workers can comply with the code of conduct and current legislation. In this case, an upskilling/reskilling course is helpful to find out what's new or, in the case of new hires, learn the updated regulations from scratch.
  • New Hires: Companies are increasingly looking for top talent, however, that doesn't mean new hires already have all the skills needed to do the job. To bring out the newcomer's skills, it can be extremely helpful to offer training during onboarding.

Upskilling and reskilling are helpful in allowing employees to stay current and adapt to market changes. Offering employees these trainings not only allows the company to be competitive but also to show its workers that it cares about their professional growth, nurturing emerging talent and valuing those who have already been with the organization for years.

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