Obsolescence of skills

Digital learning

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January 24, 2024

Can we fight against the phenomenon of skills obsolescence?

A real scourge, the obsolescence of skills is the collateral damage of the constant changes in the world around us. Can we really deal with it?

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Manon Cousin Glorieux

Manon Cousin Glorieux

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Last update




February 19, 2024

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Obsolescence of skills

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The days go by, time flies, and the world continues to change. Permanently.

So it should come as no surprise that these constant changes impact our daily work. There are many factors that can affect our professional environment : the economy (at several scales), sustainable development issues, working methods, even political decisions have an impact on our businesses.

So it would be crazy to hope that our skills remain the same. According to the OECD, our technical skills had a lifespan of 30 years in 1987. Today, they are struggling to reach 2 years of age... The development of new technologies as ChatGPT has been an accelerator of this obsolescence, pushing businesses to challenge their organization and asking employees to do more with different means.

All of these changes call into question The place and role of learning in business strategies. The decrease in lifespan of a skill is likely to be unavoidable, but what means do we have to deal with it effectively?

How are our jobs going to evolve in the coming years?

Recently, our businesses have had to adapt to unprecedented upheavals. In 2020, the health crisis imposed The hybrid way of working to numerous employees as well as to their employers.

More recently, it is The rise of generative artificial intelligences that has transformed our daily work life. Indeed, technological innovations are another key factor that impacts the constant, but often unpredictable, change in our environment.

The impact of AI in learning professions

For learning teams, the development of AI has raised many questions about the future and the role of trainers, or on the internal use of this new tool. As we like to say, AI will never replace humans in a sector where exchange and sharing are also important.

However, it can help learning teams to Save time and to automate many time-consuming tasks. Here are a few examples concrete applications of AI in the daily life of L&D teams.

  • In the learning of learners:
  • personalization of the learning course
  • Suggested learning content
  • In creating a suitable learning environment:
  • creating a conversational chat to guide learners
  • Sorting content more news to remove from the catalog
  • In design assistance:
  • writing personalized recommendations & content descriptions
  • implementation of automatic feedback on evaluations

Integrating AI into daily work learning teams allow them to stay up to date on trends, to accelerate the response to the learning needs of employees and to personalize courses on a large scale. These are all essential points in the long-term fight against the obsolescence of skills.

Learning in the flow of work, the answer to continuous adaptability?

While it is difficult to answer the question of the evolution of our professions, it is however possible to prepare for it thanks to two crucial elements: adaptability and foresight. It is still necessary to involve all the individuals in the company in this dynamic...

To do this, learning must be central. Not only in corporate strategy, for respond to developments related to business challenges, but also on internal tools, in order to create learning reflexes.

Many employees are unable to devote time to their learning in their daily work, still others do not know Where to find content, or who to turn to. To respond to these problems, more and more training tools are promoting the concept of ”Learning in the flow of work”, in other words, learning in the workflow.

The principle is simple: push learning content on software, messaging tools, intranets, etc. used by employees on a daily basis. By having resource suggestions or peer recommendations on these tools, everyone has easier access to ongoing learning. Apprenticeship is not plus one one-time event and becomes a reflex day after day. An excellent approach to fight against the obsolescence of skills!

What is the best way to update learning content?

According to our latest barometer, 71% of employees use content already existing online to train and, of these, 48% are trained independently for meet their short-term challenges, in relation to the daily routine of their jobs. (Study conducted on +1000 employees from companies with +500 employees)

These figures clearly demonstrate the recurring need to have current learning content. However, for learning teams, following the pace of changes in the labor market, the lifespan of skills, the company's strategy, the needs and desires of employees... It is simply impossible!

It is therefore necessary to find a solution for Update learning content regularly, quickly and easily. This solution is right in front of our noses... the Internet. The web is already full of existing content! And employees have understood this well because they are already using it for learning. Our role is to Help them sort it out among this jungle of content for guarantee essential quality and access directly to the Best of online learning.

In order to optimize the update of these learning content, several criteria must be taken into account. The most priority are linked to the flexibility of resources, which makes it possible to address as many people as possible. Here are the criteria that we like to highlight at Edflex:

  • Content formats
  • The duration of the content
  • Consulting materials
  • Skill levels
  • The languages
  • Learning topics

In Short, No Company Will Be Able To Avoid the Obsolescence of Skills. But Those Who Will Know Adapt to Changes In the future will be those that remain competitive and that will make a difference in the labor market. It is a Decisive Challenge for the Future That must be treated right now.

If updating your learning content is a challenge for your teams, our teams are at your disposal to help you cope.

Manon Cousin Glorieux

Manon Cousin Glorieux


Content Manager

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Passionate about writing since always, I found at Edflex the ideal environment to put my creativity at the service of your needs! Find me in the monthly newsletter for a summary of best practices on online learning.


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