Reskilling, upskilling & outskilling within a context of digital transformation

Dirk Buyens

By Dirk Buyens

Professor of Human Resources Management

Koen Dewettinck

By Koen Dewettinck

Professor of Human Resources Management

Sarah Quataert

By Sarah Quataert

Researcher, Human Resource Management

01 March 2022
istock-000088772423

With organisations facing continuous change triggered by ongoing digital transformation, reskilling, upskilling and outskilling are turning out to be imperative. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated much of what was predicted about the future of work into a considerably shorter time frame.

Supporting your employees to move into future opportunities through reskilling, upskilling or outskilling is part of managing a successful talent strategy.

Companies worldwide are providing, on average, reskilling and upskilling initiatives to 62% of their workforce. In addition, we see the emergence of a new approach to outplacement — ‘outskilling’ — which is designed to give employees at high risk of layoff the skills and support needed to land another high-growth job.

In this white paper, we will share some of the insights gained throughout the research and activities of the Vlerick Centre for Excellence in Strategic Talent Management.

We will first zoom in on the definition of, and business case for, reskilling, upskilling and outskilling.

Next, we will highlight 8 action steps for HR in developing their re-, up- or outskilling strategy. These 8 action steps provide a roadmap to shape your re-, up- or outskilling initiatives. Each step in the roadmap builds on those that come before. However, as the business landscape is evolving quickly, it is recommended to regularly revisit the steps to verify whether the approach should be adjusted to a new business reality.


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