Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

Executive Summary: Will reskilling secure competence in a rapidly changing world?

December 21, 2021

Reskilling participants.
Photo: Gerd Altmann & Richard Ryan

Reskilling, to rapidly train people on demand for business sectors where there is a shortage of skilled labor, is emerging as a solution to solve societal challenges. In November and December, 130 professionals gathered in a webinar series to discuss and showcase best practices, innovation, and the role of higher education in reskilling. The participants are working in academia, government, civil society, and industry, some focussed on innovation and others on social impact like integration and come from across the world.

The webinars were hosted by three reskilling projects run by the Swedish university KTH Royal Institute of Technology that touch on various aspects of reskilling for employability. The Software Development Academy (SDA)  has reskilled 350 migrants for jobs in the IT industry. The Inclusive STEM (IncluSTEM)  project focuses on collecting best practices in inclusive higher education for students with migrant backgrounds in Sweden, Spain, and Germany and Fordonsdalen REACT focuses on reskilling methods within the automotive industry in the greater Stockholm area.

Prominent international speakers participated from highly ranked universities like KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm School of Economics, Universidad Polytechnica Madrid, TU Berlin, Swedish labor organizations like Akademikerförbundet SSR, Tech Sweden, Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers as well as public entities like Region Skåne and industry and private actors in the reskilling field like Scania group, Novare Potential, Udacity, Stellar Capacity, Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation and Stockholm Academic Forum. 

Topics discussed included best practices in reskilling for employability, the fourth industrial revolution challenges for the labor market, society, and industry, and if reskilling is a job for the universities traditionally focussed on degree program education and research.

Mattias Wiggberg, Researcher at KTH and Founder SDA/IncluSTEM/Fordonsdalen REACT, summarized the webinar series like this:

– There is broad agreement that lifelong learning is important in a rapidly changing world, but universities have not yet solved the “how” of educational transformation or what role universities should take in it. The webinar series established that there is a real need for reskilling from both industry and labor, it highlighted interesting innovative models for reskilling, and testimonies from participants from our Software Development Academy, a reskilling program for newcomers to Sweden, showed that reskilling can change lives. The webinar series was a success and we can see how KTH can play a central role in adopting reskilling as a solution, to start in a newsletter, says Mattias Wiggberg.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu, moderator of the webinar series and project coordinator for the three KTH reskilling projects is grateful to the partners behind the series.

– We have been able to build a platform for discussing reskilling as a solution to stresses to our society like Covid-19, rapid digitalization, and migration. We are grateful to all partners including KTH, European Union the European Social Fund, and the Erasmus plus program, Wallenbergsstiftelserna, Region Stockholm, Tillväxtverket, and Digital Futures. Additionally, we were glad to see the very real engagement of speakers from various fields to come together to make recurring reskilling a reality, says Kajsa Hallberg Adu.

If you were not able to join the KTH RESKILLING 2021, you can watch recorded presentations and key messages from the webinar series as well as news from the participating stakeholders will be shared in a newsletter. Sign up here

KTH RESKILLING is a platform for discussing and showcasing best practices and innovations in reskilling, its potential societal impact, and how it will shape the way we conduct higher education. In November-December 2021, its first event, a webinar series, was arranged by KTH Royal Institute of Technology. #KTHReskilling

Back to the Webinar Series