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Reskilling And Upskilling Distinction: Prime Examples

Practical perspectives: Point out the most important differences in re-qualification and further qualification

Although the terms are closely related, there are significant differences between continuing education and retraining in the corporate world. It is critical to distinguish them when creating online training resources as they have different goals. While one involves learning new skills and competencies, the other usually involves shifting career paths. For example, an employee may need to retrain if they change departments or take on new tasks. Let’s examine these differences in more detail by looking at prime examples that highlight the differences in retraining and upgrading in lifelong learning programs for your employees.

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Examples of further training and retraining in L&D measures

There are a variety of reasons you might need to implement training initiatives for your company. The following 7 use cases are a good selection that address different industries, sectors, and L&D extenuating circumstances.

1. An employee is promoted from within

One of your top performers will receive a big promotion and will need to prepare for new obstacles that might come in their way. This is an example of further qualification, as the employee already has the basic talents they need to take on the new tasks. In fact, they were probably chosen to climb the corporate ladder in the first place. The exception to this rule are employees who have the basic building blocks such as core competencies but still need retraining to keep up with industry changes or obstacles to remote working. For example, you’ve switched to teleworking and a newly appointed team leader needs to learn new processes or protocols.

2. Employees have to master new tasks

You have introduced new tasks that require new skills. In most cases, a retraining program will do just fine, especially when new tasks overlap with old ones. For example, similar core competencies are required, but employees are not familiar with follow-up procedures or additional steps. If they need to learn to use new tools, a little training should be on their L&D to-do list.

3. Change of compliance guidelines

New compliance regulations or company guidelines are additional areas that highlight the difference between retraining and further qualification. Employees also need to brush up on related skills in most cases to avoid violations. Retraining is usually the best strategy when these new rules involve significant changes, as they will have to retrain and break old habits in order to continually improve performance. On the other hand, an upskilling course is ideal for expanding your skills when skills or responsibilities are required that are outside your current professional area of ​​responsibility.

4. A worker’s talents are better suited elsewhere

Employees’ areas of expertise may not match their current roles or responsibilities. In this case, a retraining program will help shift professional focus and embark on a different, related career path. These employees are still valuable members of your company, but their experiences and insights can benefit other aspects of your company. Let’s assume a sales rep is skilled at negotiating and persuading. However, they have a knack for handling customer complaints and know company policies inside out. As such, they could be a natural addition to your customer service team where they are prepared for a leadership role. Remember that personality traits also signal that it is time for a change. Introverts, for example, can seal the deal, but feel more comfortable in positions behind the scenes.

5. Automation enters the scene

Another key difference between retraining and further qualification is that the latter is often a matter of infrastructural or procedural changes. For example, advances in technology are forcing you to rethink your current approach and introduce new software or tools to streamline work tasks. In other words, automation removes much of the manual work and employees need to learn to adapt their skills and competencies. This can require a steep learning curve, e.g. B. Find out how the new technology platforms are used to operate machines or regular maintenance is carried out to comply with regulations.

6. Downsizing widens the talent gap

Downsizing your business is never a trivial matter. You may have to sacrifice valuable team members, which means that others will have to fill the vacancies left behind. This in turn is an occasion that, depending on the situation, requires retraining and further qualification. For example, some employees may need to learn new skills or further training in other departments. Likewise, employees with strong leadership skills need to develop new skills that underpin their current talents.

7. New recruits lack critical skills

You have just brought on board a great new hire who has the right skills and hands-on experience. The catch is that they lack certain talents that would make them an even more valued member of the team. To illustrate, the employee already has strong communication and interpersonal skills. They know the specifics of product knowledge and company policy. What they lack are negotiating skills to overcome customer reluctance and increase sales per ticket. Hence, you need to expand your existing skills with effective training support tools so that they can easily meet their quarterly goals.

Which approach is best for your business strategy?

Every company should consider a hybrid approach to L&D based on employee expectations, needs and gaps. Another factor is organizational growth. For example, you are planning to venture into new markets and your employees need special skills to meet the growing demands. However, the key is knowing the difference between retraining and upgrading so you can provide targeted support and relevant online training resources. Certain employees may need retraining resources to align talent with new company policies, as well as JIT tools to prepare for new responsibilities and roles.


HR often focuses primarily on improvement (AKA upskilling) to maximize internal talent and reduce turnover. However, retraining is just as crucial for the long-term success of the company, as it gives you the opportunity to fill vacant positions internally and to adapt to changes in the industry. In short, an upskilling and retraining program enables your company to constantly evolve and face new challenges. Adobe Captivate Prime LMS is a versatile tool in your skill building arsenal. Gamification, certifications, and robust tracking are just a few of the features you can use to promote lifelong learning across the board.

Download the eBook Upskilling and Reskilling Essentials: How To Address the Emerging Challenges of the Future of Work to learn how to nurture in-house talent regardless of your budget or staff size.

eBook publication: Adobe Captivate Primeate

Adobe Captivate Prime

Adobe Captivate Prime – A full-featured LMS with a learner-centric approach

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