The Why and How of Workplace Upskilling and Reskilling

By John Aquilino, Manager, Skills Gap Training & Services, DeVryWORKS

Many organizations are experiencing workplace shifts. Technology changes, along with global and multi-generational workforce teams, can have an impact on talent development and business performance goals. Forward-focused leaders and managers are looking for creative workforce development strategies and highly- targeted upskilling and reskilling solutions.1

The workplace evolution, coupled with ongoing workforce shortages, brings questions of what today’s employees want and need from their employers to the forefront. A 2016 research study from Gallup found engaged employees are those who are provided opportunities for personal and professional development.2 This is understandable, given the average employee spends a high percentage of his or her waking hours in the workplace.

Some of the most basic employee expectations may be easy to satisfy such as clearly laying out the desired outcomes from job performance. Another is giving employees the materials and tools they need to actually do their jobs. Both can help demonstrate that the company cares about them—another “want” of employees. Fulfilling other needs is more involved. I realize the role of a human resource leader is twofold. You must understand what it takes to keep your workforce satisfied—whether it’s flexible working hours, a promotion or continuous learning opportunities. Moreover, you need to educate teams about what it takes to acquire top talent and keep your current employees engaged so they do not move on. Although it can present a challenge to human resource leaders, it has its rewards.

One reason I find my position at DeVryWORKS so gratifying is that we share the common goal of helping mitigate some of the workforce challenges today’s organizations are facing. There is no single, perfect learning solution that will solve all your business growth challenges. However, at DeVryWORKS we strive toward finding answers to those challenges. By understanding your organization’s training and development needs, we provide solutions to help you acquire and retain strong talent—and close the skills gap.


Upskilling and reskilling your workforce talent requires an organization-wide commitment to providing accessible skills-based learning and professional development opportunities. The DeVryWORKS approach to addressing skill gaps is designed to help our corporate educational partners implement real workforce skill competencies via industry-customized learning paths. With continual learning opportunities, your workforce can stay on top of the latest innovations in technology and business. For that to happen, we recognize efforts to improve organizational performance start with the individual.

Before you can tackle your individual talent skill gaps, you need to honestly identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of your talent. That’s the first step. Next, it is beneficial to align personal talent development goals with corporate growth objectives by clearly communicating expectations and encouraging continual learning. Once this is accomplished, we can help organizations not only reach but hopefully exceed their growth missions.

When distinct learning pathways are in place and development metrics that align with both individual and organizational talent development goals established, continual workforce learning can succeed. In my experience, when you combine the rigor of higher education with the flexibility and labor-market focus of industry-based workforce training, you can see excellent results. Nurturing key competencies among employees, teams and leaders, and supporting professional development and talent initiatives, can be an effective way to help your workforce discover upskilling and reskilling solutions.

Our technology-based learning platform provides your employees and their managers focused and future-oriented feedback. DeVryWORKS Skills Gap Training, when tailored to your business and individual skill requirements, encourages continuous learning and inspires your workforce talent to both envision and establish their next-level professional development goals.

I understand that your workplace challenges will continue to evolve. Organizations that can reimagine workforce learning solutions built on the individual strengths of their employees and the collective growth goals of their entire organization can help empower their employees to achieve future business success.


John Aquilino is the Manager of Skills Gap Training & Services at DeVryWORKS. He has 20 years of experience in leadership, partnership management, consultative sales and constructing full-scale educational solutions aimed at improving an organization’s human capital through personal and professional development. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Throughout his career, John has collaborated with workforce development teams, both domestically and internationally, to develop solutions that span traditional, web-based and alternative-learning formats.

1.    Schawbel, Dan, “10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2018,” Forbes, November 1, 2017. 2018/#1af3183e4bf2
2.    Gallup, “The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes,” 2016 Q12® Metal-Analysis: Ninth Edition