Technology has never advanced faster than it is moving at this very moment. That’s great news for the 76 per cent of job seekers who believe they’ll have better opportunities for skills development, as the shorter shelf life of skills combined with a tightening labour market are giving rise to a multitude of skills gaps. Here’s why offering training, upskilling and continued education is vital for businesses, as well as what different industries are planning when it comes to further staff development.

Why having a Workplace Skills Plan is important

As markets and industries evolve faster than ever, it’s important companies put together a robust plan for learning and development in order to stay up-to-date but also be on the front foot. It’s highly important for upper management to assess where the gaps are in their company knowledge so that once these gaps are identified, a company can build programs targeted for skills development amongst employees. This type of training is great for business while allowing employees to learn valuable skills, in turn, improving their work.

What our reports say by industry

In our comprehensive “Salary Benchmark Report 2019”, covering 13 key markets, we came across a range of insights that can assist you when it comes to figuring out where industries should start when making a plan for employee learning and development.


We found companies are looking for more commercially-minded technology leaders who can bridge the gap between technology and the rest of the business. Fields such as ERP, cloud, security, digital and data are in demand, requiring companies who are less knowledgeable on those subjects to create a skill development program to bridge the gap. The increase in the amount of fintech and tech start-ups in the current marketplace suggest older companies should make use of their new advancements before their competitors.


Companies are seeking professionals with business development abilities in addition to technical skill sets, necessitating skill training for professionals in either field to make them experts across both categories. A great example for why skills development programs are necessary can be seen by the strong desire for Project Managers with 5 to 10 years post-graduation experience. A company that constantly reinforces personal development amongst employees can retain those same project managers without needing to search for them externally.


There’s a big requirement for UX professionals who understand the end-to-end journey, from user research to design. Digital companies are also searching for candidates who understand not just the marketing aspects of ecommerce but also online trading, as it becomes increasingly important. Both of these desirable skills can be taught with the right workplace skills development plan.

Engineering and Manufacturing

There is an increase in demand for roles in research and development, especially in the areas of healthcare and complementary medicine. Having a good workplace skills plan that identifies areas where a company can stay relevant in the latest research and development breakthroughs can ensure the business is seen as a leader and competitor.

Finance and Accounting

Both accounting and commercial positions require a much greater level of communication and interpersonal skills than before – particularly around influencing skills and storytelling. Relevant communications training can assist employees who don’t inherently have those skills. Companies in this market are best suited to enact training on systems automation, offshoring, and outsourcing, as there is high demand to drive and embed these changes going forward.

Financial Services

The rising cost of compliance, coupled with margin compression, has accelerated the need for companies to stay updated on new compliance, operations, and talent-related services. Technological change centered on an increasingly digital strategic focus has had flow-on effects for those excelling at hiring, operations and strategy. Businesses lacking in these areas should train their staff accordingly.

Human Resources

Experienced internal recruiters, especially those with strong tenure in roles, are in strong demand. Companies that have made effective skills development plans will shine, as they are more likely to have these rolls already filled. There is an increasing supply of senior/executive level candidates, with little growth in the quantity of roles at this level. It may be best for companies to train these executives in new ways so they can best serve their company.


Compliance roles have increased heavily in the wake of The Royal Commission into misconduct in Australis’s banking, superannuation and financial services industries, necessitating a learning and development plan to keep employees in the loop with the outcomes and ramifications.


There’s been a move towards professionals with well-rounded experience in both traditional and digital marketing. Instead of hiring newly qualified individuals, companies can benefit from taking the time to train current employees to have both desired skills.

Mining, Energy and Resources

Demand is so high that companies are competing much harder than usual for professionals with the same skill sets as other job roles that are in high demand, leading to an increase in counter offers and buy backs. It could be beneficial for companies to develop a plan that takes candidates who aren’t fully qualified and trains them to do in-demand jobs properly, so the company can save money.

Procurement, Supply Chain and Logistics

Organisations are bringing on more contractors to account for scope of work from the increase of projects within the industry. A proper personal development plan can negate the need for contractors by training current staff to have those skills and expertise that contractors are bringing in.


Career progression and stability in organisations are giving professionals a need to work for more nimble organisations with fast career progression opportunities. It is critical for property companies to have a plan that allows their employees to develop in additional ways to keep them satisfied with their jobs, such as offering certification courses.


Account management and business developers are wanted across the industry. To avoid their high cost of hiring, it’s crucial to train employees to have these skills in-house with a thorough and effective skills development plan.


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