Pre Covid - both sustainability and strategic sourcing jumped to the top in 2019/2020. Post Covid - digital creation skills have come to the top of the list according to new survey data from MOTIF
Leading global fashion e-learning platform MOTIF in collaboration with Alvanon has partnered with 19 leading apparel organizations* to conduct a global skills survey to take the pulse of the fashion industry and assess the level of investment in skills by apparel professionals and companies. The results are revealed in ‘The State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2020’ special report, that represents the views of 900 apparel professionals from across the value chain.
While there is clearly still a need for strong fundamental skills (like apparel costing, sourcing, supply chain management, etc) one key finding is the perceived gap in “future” skills that combine 3D digitalization and data skills with technical skills.
2020 SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
Business priorities are changing
- Employee training and skill development is still one of the top two business issues
- Pre COVID – both sustainability and strategic sourcing jumped to the top in 2019/2020. Post COVID – digital creation skills have come to the top of the list
To hire or upskill?
- Keeping up with technology and latest business trends is the top motivator; with employee satisfaction and engagement close behind
- In the last 12 months, more large companies have turned to upskilling their workforce while more smaller and mid-sized companies are looking to hire in new skills
High levels of satisfaction are elusive
- 66% express some sort of dissatisfaction with the training they receive
- Biggest levels of dissatisfaction are at the junior levels; 13% difference with management
There is a disconnect
- 77% of executives feel employees do not proactively take courses
- 44% say employees only take courses when they are forced to
- Yet, when junior employees were asked, 71% said they proactively take courses
For businesses working to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in new skills will be crucial given rising economic pressures, new customer expectations and behaviors, and a challenging and uncertain retail environment. With MOTIF’s ‘State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2020’ report finding new competencies lay around being able to manage digital libraries, data science skills, virtual product sampling and of course proficiency in using the tools themselves.
“As an industry we need change agents throughout organizations – individuals, teams, executives who are able to reimagine roles and processes and work differently,” explains Catherine Cole, CEO of MOTIF. “This may be a disruptive process. To do that, we need people with a new blend of skills. This is the time to reimagine and reinvent roles – within companies and within careers,” she says.
Now in its second iteration, the survey is part of MOTIF’s ongoing efforts to address the training and continual learning needs of the apparel industry worldwide. This report aims to highlight how upskilling workforces and an investment in continual learning programmes are imperatives to continued success. As companies transition into a digital way of working they must also support their existing workforces and foster a ‘learning mentality’ across their people and teams.
Click here to download a free copy of ‘The State of Skills in the Apparel Industry 2020’, MOTIF’s in-depth report on the skills gap, focusing on recruiting trends, the value of continual learning, sharing knowledge and opportunities impacting talent development, training and retention.