Upskilling Gen Z: Three Workplace Clashes

Published 13 November 2023

Nienke Creemers
2 min read

Globally, more than a third of Gen Zers think their education didn’t prepare them with the tech skills needed for their planned careers (Dell, 2023). While young people are

See Gen Z Youth Ascending for more on emerging professionals.

  • Hard vs Soft Skills: Employers and young workers disagree on which skills should be coached in the workplace. In the US, 48% of Gen Z employees want to learn more hard skills at work, compared with 33% who prefer soft-skills training (Adobe, 2023). However, companies have been aiming to sharpen youngsters’ soft skills, including office etiquette classes.

  • Gen AI Wants Credentials: In the US, 48% of Gen Z workers say they’re prepared for their employer to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into work procedures (Adobe, 2023), and the cohort is generally enthusiastic about the possibilities of AI. However, only 13% of global employees have been offered AI training in the past year (Randstad, 2023). Not providing guidance on AI could cost companies, suggests Dutch recruitment firm Randstad. Already, 30% of Gen Z workers want to receive training within the next year (Randstad, 2023).

    Meanwhile, nearly half of American jobseekers are inflating their AI skills, with 32% enhancing their resumes and 30% misrepresenting their AI knowledge in interviews (Resume Builder, 2023).

  • Artisanal Aspirations: Incited by high university costs and AI’s potential impact on knowledge-based careers, some American Gen Zers are pursuing craftsmanship skills. In the US, 73% of Gen Zers have a high opinion of trade jobs, and 47% are interested in such careers. However, 82% are being told that a university degree is the only option for a successful life (Thumbtack, 2023).

    Brands eagerly play into this group: Italian fashion label Bottega Veneta launched its tailoring school, Accademia Labor et Ingenium, in October 2023. Students will be tutored in the employee workspace, reflecting young people’s desire for apprenticeships.

See Gen Z Youth Ascending for more on emerging professionals.