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Why Partnering with an Educational Institution Can Help Fill Your Company’s Skill Gaps

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It’s no secret that workplace dynamics have changed over the past few years. In addition to a transition to remote work, the skills required to perform a given job at a high level are constantly in flux. Research from a 2020 World Economic Forum report found that 42 percent of the core skills needed to perform existing jobs will have changed by 2022, while 94 percent of business leaders want their employees to increase their overall abilities.

What’s more, a 2020 McKinsey study found that 87 percent of executives reported skill gaps in their organizations. To close these gaps, companies are exploring solutions to help their employees get up to speed. One of the more popular methods to accomplish this is to partner with educational institutions and provide focused training courses and educational programs for their employees. These courses and programs can focus on practices like business management, leadership skills and tools to increase efficiency.

“Education is a great employee retention tool,” says Christina Katsapis, the Manager of College Partnerships at Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies, which offers programs for adult learners as well as public and private learning programs for corporations. “Companies and organizations recognize the value of providing employees with these types of learning opportunities to satisfy their personal growth and professional development.”

At colleges like Villanova’s CPS, businesses that have a need for custom education and training for their employees will receive hands-on consulting and implementation of classes and programs that fill the skill gaps they’ve identified. Here’s what you need to know about corporate training for your employees — and why establishing a partnership with an educational institution can serve as an extension of your employees’ day-to-day growth.

Seeking Out Corporate Training

It’s only natural for employers to want their employees to be as adept as possible in their roles. After all, an organization that’s willing to adapt is much more likely to succeed than one that isn’t.

“Change has never been happening as fast as it is now,” says Marv Meissner, a professor at Villanova CPS teaching Lean Six Sigma and leadership courses. “A lot of companies are familiar with the types of subject matters taught, but they’ve not had structured training and education on those topics.”

Villanova CPS offers a wide array of programs for businesses, including Meissner’s Lean Six Sigma courses as well as Strategic Organizational Leadership classes from Erin Gerst, an adjunct professor at CPS who has Villanova degrees herself.

At Villanova, instructors have taught students in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and the service industry, to name a few. These programs can be conducted online or in-person, are customized to meet the needs of the organization as needed, and at their conclusion, employees can receive a micro credential or certificate that showcases their specialization.

“These are mutually beneficial partnerships,” Katsapis says. “We look to companies and organizations as a partner to help us better understand their workforce education needs, where gaps may exist, industry trends and how we can better support their efforts and organizational goals.”

The Benefits of Educational Opportunities for Employees

For a business looking to improve its employees’ aptitude, deploying resources toward corporate training and other educational opportunities can help them further identify the skill gaps within their organization. Meanwhile, for employees, education creates opportunities for new perspectives and ideas to bring back to the workplace — all while learning from instructors who are subject matter experts and business leaders themselves.

As Gerst notes, the skills employees can learn  have a wide range of applications. In her courses, she emphasizes conflict resolution and team building to help employees become better leaders in their organizations.

“We want students to provide their individual perspectives,” Gerst says. “In each of my classes, students bring totally different perspectives to our discussions. Our intention is to empower that diversity of thought.”

Even as we get older, we’re all constantly learning. And by partnering with an institution committed to understanding and developing best learning practices like Villanova, the work to fill those skill gaps is already halfway done.

“Whatever life stage a student or an employee is in, we want to encourage and support them through their educational journey and develop lifelong learners in the process,” Katsapis says.

For more information on the Villanova College of Professional Studies’ corporate training offerings and other educational opportunities, head here.