Training accessibility isn't just an economic issue—it’s also one of racial equality

    September 30, 2020

    Unfortunately, race still plays a significant role in income disparity in America. To illustrate: The Brookings Institution reports that on average in 2016, the net worth of a typical Caucasian family was nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family ($171,000 versus $17,150).

    Automation eliminates and creates jobs

    This situation is soon likely to be exacerbated by the fact that between 32 and 42 percent of COVID-19 layoffs will be permanent. On top of that, automation is eliminating millions of jobs. According to Policy Link, advancements in automation are expected to change the skills required for entry-level, low-wage positions that are disproportionately held by employees of color.

    On the other hand, automation is also going to create 58 million more skilled jobs than it displaces.

    Training and upskilling are critical

    It should be clear that to thrive in a world that’s subject to constant technological advancement and workplaces that make heavy use of automation, workers need access to training and upskilling. But it’s no secret that economic constraints can compromise workers’ ability to participate in self-funded training and upskilling opportunities.

    Employers must offer equal training opportunities

    When you know that 79 percent of CEOs agree that a lack of skills threatens the future success of their organizations, it seems only logical that employers should invest in upskilling their employees. However, they need to provide access to training for all employees—including those in lower-paying positions with fewer benefits—regardless of race.

    By doing so, they can reduce workers’ dependency on their own incomes to create upskilling opportunities. And that can help level the playing field for groups who have been unfairly disadvantaged for too long as a result of discrimination.

    At Kelly, we believe everyone should reach their full potential in work and in life. If you like this article and want related content on retaining, managing, recruiting, and hiring employees, visit our business career resource center.



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