Globalisation has led to fierce market competition; a demand for experience, knowledge and talent. Meanwhile, the rise of AI and automated technologies are on the verge of replicating even the most sophisticated tasks – not just the repetitive or the mundane.
The population is also living longer. Those early into their careers can expect to work longer into their lifetimes. Given these tumultuous times and the rise of the gig-economy, they may need to adjust or jump between jobs more frequently – perhaps even between sectors.
Amid Industry 4.0, education and workforce development sectors have a responsibility to prepare individuals for both the jobs of today and tomorrow. Faced with a global skills crisis, educators, government and businesses must now search for the best ways to nurture a sustainable pipeline of skills and talent.
According to a 2017 report by McKinsey, it is likely that 800 million jobs will be automated by 2030 alone. With the skills gap worsening, the disciplines required to succeed within the workplace and ensure a career, whether obtained through college or university, are experiencing a far shorter ‘shelf-life’. The future workforce will need to upskill and reskill; ‘learning’ will become a constant in employees’ and students’ lives.
Collectively, these challenges highlight not only a need for more ‘durable’ skills – which means the education sector will need to adjust its metrics and content to cater for them – but that ‘lifelong learning’ will be born out of necessity.
Desired skill sets will likely evolve and change as technology progresses, and we as individuals must become champions of our own personal growth. Workers and students will need to overcome the idea that learning concludes after formal education. They will need to adapt to the changing demands of the market to secure their future and manage the transitions they can expect throughout their careers.
May 26, 2020