Zoran Martinovski moderated the discussion on “Upskilling and Reskilling in the Balkans” and Biljana Markovic Stamenova was one of the speakers at the Balkan Economic Forum highlighting the benefits and the obstacles of developing corporate programs for upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling. She also presented the work PrimePoint has done in this area including our flagship project with Makprogres, EBRD, and the first certified academy for executive management in Macedonia, Progressive Academy. Strategic investments in long-term reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling programs are critical for closing the skills gap and increasing productivity and employee retention.
Despite the rapid advances in technology, the need of soft skills is even more emphasized given that the human capital needs to have a flexible mindset, quickly adopt new skills, and conceptualize innovative solutions. “Companies need people with technical skills, but when we interview them, the soft skills are those that make a difference in selecting the candidate. Children are taught to follow, repeat and obey, but when they start working, we ask them to innovate, lead and be creative. Developing soft skills is critical from a young age, especially conceptual, communication, and leadership skills.” – concluded Mrs. Stamenova.
While formal education is primarily backward-looking and produces a cadre that the companies needed years ago, the private sector needs to be forward-looking in anticipating the skills required in the future and providing opportunities for people in adopting these skills.