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Last-mile training and the future of work in an expanding gig economy

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William Hanselman
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Nevertheless, there are two trends purported experts are reasonably certain about: (1) continued growth in the number of jobs requiring substantive and sustained interaction with technology; and (2) continued rapid expansion of the gig economy.

This first future of work trend is evident today in America’s skills gap with 7 million unfilled jobs — many mid- or high-skill position requiring a range of digital and technology capabilities.

Amazon’s recent announcement that it will spend $700 million over the next six years to upskill 100,000 of its low-wage fulfillment center employees for better digital jobs within Amazon and elsewhere demonstrates an understanding that the private sector must take some responsibility for the requisite upskilling and retraining, as well as the importance of establishing pathways to these jobs that are faster and cheaper than the ones currently on offer from colleges and universities.

These pathways typically involve “last-mile training”, a combination of digital skills, specific industry or enterprise knowledge, and soft skills to make candidates job-ready from day one.

The second trend isn’t new; the gig economy has existed since the advent of the “Help Wanted” sign.

But what’s powered the gig revolution is the shift from signs and classified ads to digital platforms and marketplaces that facilitate continued and repeated matching of gig and gig worker.

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William Hanselman
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