Platform-led upskilling is the training that marketplace platforms provide to small-scale vendors and self-employed workers, even outside the scope of a conventional employer-employee relationship.
It is a widespread and necessary part of doing business, especially in regions with significant skills gaps. Upskilling happens in three ways—via face-to-face or interpersonal interactions, online training, and in-workflow training moments. Content types include how to use the service, financial and digital literacies, vocation-specific skills, and soft skills. When the skills taught go beyond simple how-tos -- when they transfer portable, lifelong skills, upskilling has the potential to be transformational. When delivered by platforms, upskilling has the potential to strengthen the social contract between platforms and vendors/workers, and it brings platforms into the broader education landscape of the markets in which they operate.
There’s a lot of work to be done to refine upskilling as a craft and create sources of advantage for marketplace platforms. But as you’ll read in the report and in the case studies, our research and interviews with platforms around the world illustrate that platforms are already teaching portable skills.
Mobilizing platform-led upskilling will involve platforms, governments, and the development sector in new knowledge exchanges and partnerships to create better livelihoods in the digital era. As such, we have six calls to action.