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Upskilling: How to Advance in Your Industrial Career

Candidate Advice

Upskilling: How to Advance in Your Industrial Career

Upskilling: How to Advance in Your Industrial Career

If you are looking at a career change or just want to take the next step on the ladder, there is a good chance you are looking at your CV and seeing some room for improvement. This can be from wanting to feel out your qualifications or show that you are serious about improving yourself. If this is the case you should consider upskilling and the positive effect on your career.

What is upskilling?

Upskilling means that you are improving on your skillset in regard to your job or your career. 

Upskilling can be taken as part of your work push to upskill or be taken on your own as a chance to improve your own career prospects. 

Why is upskilling important? 

People are looking to upskill all the time; they all do it for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons can be the following: 


Most people want to have some sort of promotion and enjoy what comes with it, whether it is the money or the feeling of accomplishment.


Having more skills can help you get the pay rise you have been asking for; this can come from taking more responsibility or just being able to perform more tasks without the need for help from others.

Job satisfaction

Gaining new skills can help improve your overall job satisfaction, whether it be from that feeling of achievement or taking on a more demanding and varied workload. Having a strong and varied skillset can mean that you are able to do more and achieve more.

Career change

If you are looking for a career change, whether in the same company or at another, upskilling can not only unlock a whole new career path but also allow you to get ahead of others applying for the role.

What skills can you upskill?


The world is becoming more and more digital, and nearly all businesses consist of some form of digital work. If you can improve your digital skills this can open a new world of possibilities. The specific digital skills you need will depend on your job or your dream role, so it is worth considering before you dive into learning your new skills. 

There are many different digital qualifications, but if you are just looking to take the next step up in your career it might just need some informal training from a colleague or a manager.  


Being a strong a capable leader is a great skill to have, it doesn’t matter if you are looking at progressing to a manager role or if you are looking to lead a small team understanding what makes a good leader and being able to embed those qualities into your everyday work can be a great way to stand out of the crowd and make your dream job role yours. 

Soft skills

Soft skills cover a huge range of different skill sets that cover how you interact with those around you, these can cover communication skills, emotional intelligence, teamworking and time management. 

It might not seem that skills are as important as other more formal qualifications, but by being able to show you have strong soft skills, you can help set yourself apart from other applicants.

The government has some great information about developing your soft skills, and why they are important for any industry. 

Where can you start upskilling?

There are two ways you can upskill: through a structured course such as at college or an evening class or you can take the challenge on yourself by reading up on the skills, using online courses, apps, or online communities. 

Upskilling doesn’t have to be a full-time undertaking. There are many options such as:

  • evening classes
  • online learning
  • part-time courses
  • short courses

When deciding if training is the best option for you career development, you can speak to a government funded advisor. Alternatively, you can seek help locally from

  • colleges
  • library
  • training providers
  • Jobcentre plus

If you choose to train online there are a number of options depending on your industry or goals. The government offers free online courses for digital upskilling, whilst a number of industry bodies offer specific training for workers in that industry and talking to a manager or someone from the HR department can be the best place to start. 

How to fund your upskilling

If you are looking to upskill there can be an worry when you think of funding, but often you do not have to pay upfront or if at all for your upskilling.

Employer funded

If you are employed, it makes financial sense for your employer to encourage you to upskill. Not only does it help them to have a higher skilled employees but it helps show others that there are chances for progression and improvement in the company helping to create a stronger and more loyal workforce. 

Government Grants 

If you are looking to gain new formal qualifications, you can speak to your college or university to see what government grants and bursaries are available. 

If you do not already have an NVQ Level 3 qualification, the National Careers Service offers a number of free courses across the nation to help improve your future career prospects. 

Whatever your reason to look at upskilling we will always say to pursue it. Not only do the skills help open more doors for you in a career but we know how it is important it is to show that you are willing to improve yourself. This can be the difference in you getting a job and not.

If you are looking to understand how your skills stack up to those around you or want to know more about landing your dream role, get in contact with a specialist member of our team who will be more than happy to help. 

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