24 November 2021 - 12:00
Education and professional training as a growth opportunity in the world of work
Knowledge is power: it has long been demonstrated, and Generali is also very active in this regard with We LEARN, the upskilling and reskilling programme dedicated to Group employees
Since the late 1990s, access to education has increased worldwide thanks to the combined efforts of governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector. However, the lack of quality education and insufficient awareness of its importance on the part of companies have often negatively affected the labour market. The Covid-19 pandemic, which led to large-scale disruption in the schooling system, brought the question of boosting quality education and lifelong professional learning opportunities within the world of work back into the spotlight.
The Nobel Prize in economics awarded to the Canadian David Card of the University of Berkeley – a prize also jointly won by Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – was an opportunity to revive the debate on education, training and work. In addition to researching the effects of the minimum wage on employment, Card has demonstrated through his "empirical research that higher investment in schools increases student learning.
In two studies published in 1992, Card found that American students who attended schools with smaller class sizes and higher teacher salaries ended up with better-paying jobs as adults. "The overall conclusion from the last 30 years of research is that school resources appear to matter for labour market outcomes in industrialised countries," the Nobel Committee wrote in its explanatory statement. According to the committee, the results "surprised the research community" and "led to a discussion on whether school quality and school resources mattered for school and labour market outcomes".
The importance of quality education and training is also central to the programmes of UN agencies. These include the UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (GenU) initiative launched in 2018 with the aim of creating a global multisectoral partnership to address the urgent need for more education, training and employment opportunities for young people aged 10-24.
In the post-Covid period, the private sector has also expressed increasing interest in the benefits of providing education and training to its employees. In the United States, for example, several companies – including giants such as Walmart, Amazon, Chipotle and Starbucks – have launched plans to offer free university education to their employees, directly linking areas of growth within the company with the various training proposals.
Generali is committed to recognising, enhancing, and promoting the development of its employees’ skills. That is why the Group implemented the We LEARN programme, which is directly linked to its “Generali 2021” strategy objectives and its ambition to be a Lifetime Partner for its customers in an increasingly competitive and complex market.
We LEARN – which involves more than 500 internal trainers, content experts and ambassadors – was created to provide everyone working within Generali with the latest business, digital and behavioural skills needed to succeed in our fast-evolving industry.
The programme involves a series of different learning approaches and training proposals: "learning pills" for the entire Generali population on major strategic initiatives and the impact of digitalisation; mini-master courses on specific innovative roles within the group; e-learning and classroom courses aimed at disseminating new skills needed by Generali employees in their current roles and in view of the new market challenges.