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Press Release

ATD Research: Critical Skills Gaps Still Exist in Organizations

Published Wed Apr 24 2024


The Association for Talent Development's new data on the skills gaps facing organizations found that most TD professionals expect a future skills gap in their organizations.

**(Alexandria, VA), April 24, 2024—**Seventy-four percent of talent development professionals said they had a current skills gap in their organization, and 75 percent said they expected a future skills gap in their workplace, according to new research by the Association for Talent


Development. Fewer organizations reported a skills gap in 2023 than in 2021 (82 percent).

The most common areas for these skills gaps were leadership and executive-level skills, managerial and supervisory skills, communication and interpersonal skills, and process improvement and project management skills, according to Bridging the Skills Gap: Using Learning Opportunities to Address Current and Future Talent Needs whitepaper, sponsored by ETU. Almost half of TD professionals (48 percent) said managers, supervisors, and team leaders had a major skills gap in their organization.

“TD professionals need to understand the skills that are required for employees to be efficient and effective at their jobs. Then, they should identify the root cause of the skills gap, determine what behaviors are necessary to meet goals, and prioritize a path to fill them,” the whitepaper recommended.

Organizations are using many ways to address the skills gaps, including:

  • Instructor-led training (in-person and virtual)

  • Coaching and mentoring

  • Microlearning

  • Simulations and scenario-based learning

Almost 90 percent of organizations were using on-the-job training activities to address their skills gaps, including stretch assignments, rotation training programs, and apprenticeship programs. Training isn’t the only way TD professionals addressed the gaps, though. Many organizations recruited for key skills (58 percent), offered retention programs for employees with key skills (31 percent), and partnered with the public workforce (28 percent).


In the survey, ATD Research asked working Americans about their training preferences. Most respondents said they were interested in receiving training on critical thinking and problem-solving skills (85 percent), creativity and innovation skills (84 percent), communication and interpersonal skills (82 percent), and leadership and executive-level skills (80 percent).

ATD surveyed 356 TD professionals across all industries and 522 working Americans. The first survey targeted at TD professionals asked about current skills gaps, future skills gaps, training methods, soft skills, and demographic data. The second survey for working Americans included questions about training interests, skills gaps at their organization, and demographic data.

If you are interested in learning more, ATD is hosting a free webinar about this whitepaper on May 28 at 2 p.m. ET.

About ATD

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).


ATD’s members come from more than 100 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports TD professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led US chapters and international member networks and with international strategic partners.

For more information, visit td.org.

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