Upskilling 2024: Masterplan Study on the Future of Further Education

Manfred Rump

A man looking at the Masterplan Upskilling Study on his tablet
VIDEO With english subtitles

Global crises, skills shortages, advancing digitalization – the business world is developing ever faster and placing new demands on companies and employees. The Masterplan Study 2024 "Upskilling for the future"* provides thoughtful insights into the L&D challenges that DACH companies currently expect and how they (should) respond to these trends and developments through L&D and upskilling.

*available in German Only

How do HR departments ensure the future viability of their company? How do they strengthen employee loyalty and prevent a shortage of skilled workers? And, most importantly, where do they see themselves in the future?

Together with the Quadriga University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Masterplan has examined the status quo and needs in terms of HR development in the DACH region. Besides this, we’ve also explored how future-proof employees and companies are positioned for the future.

Let's take a look at the key findings of the study.

Status Quo: Employees Insufficiently Prepared

According to the results of the study, companies do not yet feel equipped for the business world of tomorrow:

68% of the managers and HR staff surveyed are concerned that their workforce is poorly or only moderately prepared for future challenges.

For large companies with more than 2,000 employees, the figure is as high as 78%!

Graphic: How well are the employees in your company generally prepared for current and future challenges?
Graphic: How well are the employees in your company generally prepared for current and future challenges?

Top Challenges for L&D: Lack of Time and Resources at the Forefront

Given the rapid pace of change in the world of work, companies are having to respond to new technologies and trends more often and more rapidly than ever. This is creating new challenges for HR development in particular.

According to the respondents, the shortage of specialists and workers (83%) dominates at the company level, ahead of employee retention (58%), digitalization (53%) and global crises (34%).

The biggest challenge in terms of further training is the lack of time among employees (55%), closely followed by a lack of/too little understanding of future-relevant skills (49%) and a lack of resources (41%).

Graphic: What do you see as the biggest challenges in equipping employees with future-oriented skills?
Graphic: What do you see as the biggest challenges in equipping employees with future-oriented skills?

Upskilling Trends: Less Investment, More Awareness

Although problems such as a lack of time and resources are known, training budgets for the most part will stagnate in 2024 (59%).

These budgets will only be increased in one in four companies (23%) and even reduced in a quarter of large companies with more than 2,000 employees (26%).

Nevertheless, the experts from business and academia agree that corporate learning is extremely important and should have increased focus on it in the future.

"Learning is an enabler of business performance. Personnel development is therefore not just a supplier of products and services, but actively helps to develop corporate structures. Skills are the currency that connects all departments and in which we need to invest."
Tatevik Mkrtchyan, Competence & Leadership, IKEA Germany

"The core element of any transformation is continuous learning. Especially now in the age of AI, where the speed of change is even greater, it is important to promote precisely this attitude, make people eager to learn and then offer the right teaching content."
Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group

"There needs to be a turnaround from the “one-size-fits-all” approach towards a higher level of personalization. And that means identifying the individual skills and requirements profiles of individual employees, designing personalized development paths and evaluating further development."
Prof. Dr. Jutta Rump, Director, Institute for Employment and Employability (IBE)

The other results of the study also encourage investing in efficient training strategies and infrastructures that ensure needs-based, scalable and cost-efficient personnel development and agree with these expert opinions.


Skills That Everyone Will Need in the Future: Power Skills

But what exactly do employees need to learn today so that they can solve the problems of tomorrow?

Masterplan has transferred the 21st century skills necessary for students from the Battle for Kids P21 framework to the business world.

The result is seven universal skills that employees need today and in the future, regardless of their role, in order to master new challenges and remain fit for the future: Power Skills.

"In a constantly changing world, continuous learning is the basis for successful transformation. After all, the future viability of companies depends on the future viability of their employees - and this primarily includes universal 'power skills' such as digital competence, leadership and communication."
Stefan Peukert, CEO,

Companies currently rate their employees' power skills as mediocre for the most part. There is a skills gap between stated relevance and actual proficiency, particularly for skills such as collaboration and leadership, digital skills and communication.

Graphic: What do you think: To what extent are employees' skills developed in the following areas?
Graphic: What do you think: To what extent are employees' skills developed in the following areas?

Only 30% of respondents say that the much-needed digital skills are strongly developed in their own company. Similarly, only 21% of those surveyed consider collaboration and leadership skills to be important. Global awareness came last with only 16%.

Masterplan Study 2024: Upskilling for the Future

Around 250 managers and professionals from the field of HR management took part in the survey conducted by Masterplan and Quadriga University of Applied Sciences Berlin.

The complete study is available for free download in German and offers valuable insights into the L&D practices of small to large DACH companies. 

In addition to the results presented, the Masterplan study explains in detail

  • the challenges that DACH companies will face in 2024
  • how well employees are prepared for current and future transformations,
  • what stands in the way of efficient further training in DACH companies,
  • which skills will be important for all employees in the future and
  • how and with which metrics further training undertakings are measured.


FAQ on the Topic

Manfred Rump

Manfred Rump is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Masterplan. In the blog, he shares insights from his conversations with learning experts and highlights current learning trends in companies.

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