No doubt you have heard of the “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting”. (If you haven’t, stop here, pop over to your internet browser or AI platform and do a quick search). The bottom line is that post-COVID-19, there simply aren’t enough humans available to fill the jobs we employers have for them. I hear this everywhere – from my city-based colleagues to mining companies and farmers, to regional and rural enterprises. I have heard the recruitment line, “If you can fog up a mirror, you’re in!”
But we still need to ensure that the employees we do have are equipped with the necessary skills to perform their jobs at the highest level. This mismatch of people available vs skills has led to a growing interest in “micro-credentials” – short-term, industry-specific certifications that give knowledge and skills in a particular area. While traditional university degrees, full trade qualifications and VET courses have their own advantages, micro-credentials offer unique benefits for both employees and employers.
Fast-track to the skills actually needed
A huge advantage of micro-credentials is that they are much faster and less expensive to earn than traditional degrees or trade qualifications. It takes years to complete a university degree or full trade qualification, but many micro-credentials can be earned in a matter of months, weeks, or even days. Employees can quickly acquire the skills they need without having to take extended time off work or accumulate large amounts of debt, and employers get skilled employees quickly.
Highly targeted and specific
Micro-credentials are highly targeted and specific to a particular skill set or industry. Uni degrees, trade qualifications and even VET courses often require students to take a broad range of courses in addition to their major field of study. Micro-credentials are designed to teach specific skills that are directly applicable to a particular job or industry. This gives the employer access to more potential employees when they can be upskilled quickly. Employees who earn micro-credentials can immediately put their new skills to work, making them more productive and effective.
Flexible and customisable
Micro-credentials are flexible and customisable, allowing both employees and employers to tailor education to their career goals and specific needs. Rather than being locked into a particular course of study for several years, employees can earn micro-credentials that are directly relevant to their current job or the career path they want to pursue. Employers can quickly get their current team members up to speed with a new technology, process etc.
One of the biggest advantages of micro-credentials is that they are often more up-to-date and relevant than traditional degrees. Because micro-credentials are designed to teach specific, practical skills that are directly applicable to a particular industry, they are often based on the latest trends, technology, and best practices in that field. This means that employees who earn micro-credentials are more likely to have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills in their industry, which can give them a competitive edge in the job market.
What is your business doing?
We embraced micro-credentials in our own business years ago. Yes, we still need degree-qualified scientists, but more and more of our work can be performed by people who have been given the specific skills they need in the field or in the office.
How about you? Are you using micro-credentials to help alleviate the acute people and skills shortage? If not, can you think of any that would be useful to you and your business?
Now, start your search for someone who could provide the micro-credential training you need.
This post first appeared on https://insidesmallbusiness.com.au on June 13, 2023.