Press Release

Talent Development Professionals Play Critical Role in Addressing the Workplace Skills Gap


ATD’s Bridging the Skills Gap whitepaper reveals that organizations are taking their skills gaps seriously by addressing or assessing their workforce skills needs.

(Alexandria, VA) January 25, 2022—Skills gaps continue to be a huge current and future challenge in the workplace, with 83 percent of organizations reporting current skills gaps in their workforce and 78 percent expecting to face a skills gap in the future.

“Talent development professionals need to act to prevent these skills gaps from derailing the future of their organizations,” according to ATD’s Bridging the Skills Gap: Workforce Development in Changing Times, sponsored by GP Strategies. “Organizations are in a precarious situation due to a number of factors that have exacerbated the skills gaps in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing resignations in some industries, changing technology, and an aging workforce. Both private organizations and the public sector need to take action to close skills gaps; even individual employees can undertake training and learning on their own to improve their skills.”

“Participants indicated that the biggest skills gaps their organizations were currently experiencing were critical-thinking and problem-solving skills (65 percent), managerial skills (skills related to directly managing other people) (55 percent), and communication and interpersonal skills (53 percent),” according to the report. “Talent development professionals expect to face gaps in critical-thinking and problem-solving skills (56 percent), leadership skills (53 percent), and creativity and innovation skills (50 percent) in the future.”

Other key findings in the whitepaper include:

  • Six in 10 participants report that the cause of the current or forthcoming skills gaps in their organization is because the skills of the current workforce do not match changes in the company’s strategy, goals, markets, or business models. Other key causes include insufficient bench strength in the company’s leadership ranks (54 percent) and a lack of skilled talent in one or more of the company’s lines of business (44 percent).
  • Most participants say their organization is addressing the skills gaps they face by providing more training internally in technology-aided settings such as e-learning or virtual classrooms (60 percent), and 21 percent were offering more in-person training.
  • A majority of survey respondents said that they were addressing the skills gaps by examining what skills the organization needs to be successful now and in the future (57 percent), while 55 percent indicated that they were assessing current gaps and creating a plan to address the most critical areas. Forty-nine percent of organizations were examining skills needs in 2018; the same percentage was assessing current gaps and creating a plan. This is a positive change compared to a few years ago.

This whitepaper, the seventh one produced by the Association for Talent Development (formerly the American Society for Training and Development), examines the current skills gap, the contributing factors of the gap, who is responsible for closing the gap, and how to address it.

A free webinar will take place on February 3 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 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports talent development professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led US chapters and international member networks and with international strategic partners.

For more information, visit

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