Platform-led upskilling is training that marketplace platforms provide to vendors and self-employed workers, outside of an employer-employee relationship. Based on expert interviews with 15 heterogenous platforms, this study identifies platform-led upskilling as a practice worthy of further programmatic and research attention from the technology and development community. Through the interviews and accompanying landscape scan, we identify three broad approaches to platform-led upskilling—face-to-face, online, and in-workflow training moments—and several content types—platform proficiencies, financial and digital literacies, vocation-specific skills, and soft skills. This kind of training is important to current debates about digitization and the future of work because some platform-led upskilling aims to teach portable, lifelong skills, bringing platforms into the broader education landscape and potentially strengthening the social contract between platforms and vendors/workers. However, the scale at which platform-led upskilling will impact individuals and markets remains undetermined and needs further research.

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