Opportunity by Design: A Discussion on Growing Worker Skills and Talent in the Workplace

Training and learning opportunities are an important part of the design of any job. Frontline workers recently rated job growth and learning opportunities in the top three things they want in a job. Many workers, however, receive little, if any, training from their employers. This lack of investment in workers’ skills impedes workers’ opportunities for advancement, trapping many in a cycle of dead-end, low-quality jobs where women and people of color make up a disproportionate number of workers. For businesses and employers, failing to invest in workers is also costly. In addition to a disengaged workforce, many employers face high turnover when they do not invest in their workers. In the past year, the top reason workers globally left their jobs was due to a lack of career development and advancement opportunities. Businesses that invest in workers’ skills development and design jobs with work-based learning (WBL) opportunities, however, offer a more promising path.

When designed well, work-based learning provides a number of benefits to workers and businesses. WBL approaches such as apprenticeship, on-the-job training, and other forms of employer-sponsored training can offer workers the opportunity for upward mobility and the chance to earn and learn at the same time while employers gain a more engaged and skilled workforce. Too often though the frontline workers who could benefit the most from work-based learning do not receive the opportunity. How can businesses design jobs that include quality work-based learning that improves opportunity for workers and business outcomes? What barriers and opportunities do employers face in creating apprenticeship and other work-based learning models, particularly for front-line workers? What can we do to equitably expand work-based learning to workers who need it the most?

This event features a panel discussion with Daniel Bustillo (Executive Director, Healthcare Career Advancement Program), Jocelyn Caldwell (VP, Workforce Strategy and Organizational Growth, Walmart), Kim Gregorie (Head of the Business and Program Office for Talent Development and the Global Career Experience, JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Paul Osterman (Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management), and moderator Abha Bhattarai (Economics Correspondent, The Washington Post).

For more information and resources from this event, visit our website: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/opportunity-by-design-a-discussion-on-growing-worker-skills-and-talent-in-the-workplace/

This is the second conversation in our three-part series, “The Job Quality Choice: Opportunities and Challenges in Job Design”: https://jobdesign.splashthat.com/
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