5 July 2021 The project “SILKC Path” gets its name from its goal: designing an Open Source platform for Skills Integration in a Learning, Knowledge and Career PATHway. It is obviously a wink to the silk road(s), a long path (or series of long paths) through which silk and other items were transported for commercial exchanges between Turkey and China at the beginning of our era, and which dramatically helped develop civilization around that time. Our project aims at improving the way professionals learn new skills in order to increase their learning efficiency and their professional mobility. We believe that, through training, anyone can reach ever higher goals, and that by improving the availability of training, people will tend to reach their ideal job faster, increasing Europe’s overall productivity. But if the benefits of our future platform are relatively clear for individuals, one might ask oneself the question whether this is also good for businesses… Key metrics of human capital management In an article published in 2001 but still relevant today, Workforce.com reported about The Saratoga Institute, which at the time had been investigating the value of human capital for at least 20 years, and its 10 key metrics of human capital management. Of these, we handpicked a few which are the most related to the topic at hand in our project. Human Capital Value Added How do the people in your organization optimize themselves for the good of the company and for themselves? This is the prime measure of a person’s contribution to profitability (…) By providing a public tool to find the best training pathway to getting the skills you need, the SILKC Path platform will reduce the time and costs of finding the right training for people in each organization. Employees themselves will be able to create an account, find the training sessions that best suit them and get started straight away. By providing the ability for individuals to report on the training they have taken, we provide a way for individuals to get trained faster and report on that to their HR team. In the future, we will even be able to provide corporate accesses for HR teams to follow the Human Capital Value Added of the people in their organization in attractive report forms. Separation Cost It’s important to know how many people are leaving and from which areas, but it’s more important to know what that costs the organization. The average cost of separation for an employee is at least six months’ equivalent of revenue per employee. As reported in an article by Gartner from a report of their Global Talent Monitor in 2018, “the lack of future career development remains a key driver of employee attrition — cited by 40% of departing employees as a dissatisfying factor in their job”. It also mentions “leading companies show their employees how what they are learning now will prepare them for the next job — even if it’s not at their current company”. By training employees, companies are reducing their reasons to leave and, as a consequence, reducing the impact of separation cost on the company’s human capital. But training is not always easy to find, leading to more time spent looking for opportunities. SILKC Path has the potential to answer the issue of finding the right training quickly and efficiently. Voluntary Separation Rate Loss of personnel represents potential lost opportunity, lost revenue, and more highly stressed employees who have to fill in the gaps. If you can cut the separation rate, you don’t incur the cost of hiring for these positions or lose quality in your customer service. Insisting on the issue presented by the Separation cost, the Voluntary Separation Rate is a factor of how much employees feel like they could be treated better elsewhere. Reducing their reasons to leave through more training availability will help. Training Investment Factor Forces are in conflict within the workplace. There is a continuing invasion and distribution of technology aimed at improving individual productivity and a growing demand for better service. Yet many workers cannot read, write, do simple calculations or talk intelligently with customers. The organization must invest in bringing up basic skills. Being able to look for training based on a set of skills (for example through a desired job) rather than based on one single skill is an incredible tool to find training that will cover several lacking skills at once, thus reducing the training time necessary while still providing the same number of skills learnt. Reducing training time is a major factor in businesses’ economics, as an employee in training is an employee that doesn’t produce anything during that time. Time to Start With the ongoing shortage of talent, recruitment will be a major challenge. Monitoring the time from approval of a requisition until someone is on the job is a strategic indicator of revenue production. Because SILKC Path tracks the skills any individual registers on the platform, either through previous jobs or previous training history, it maintains an exploitable database of people by skillset. As such, it will be easier to find exactly the person with the right set of skills than it would be through common selection processes. Finding the person with the right set of skills will almost inevitably lead to lower times to start, making the company more efficient overall, hitting that revenue production straight on. Conclusion While the main focus of our platform is currently to serve individuals in Europe to find training opportunities better suited to their skills set and desires, reaching our goals in that area will inevitably lead to its usefulness to organizations willing to improve their service to their employees, while also providing for a large pool of employees looking for new opportunities. This should be kept in check over the next few months of our project, as opportunities will start to appear with our first real-world users starting to look for available training at a reasonable distance and cost. We believe dozens or even hundreds of new use-cases could rise as we progress towards our goal.