By Reon Janse van Rensburg
According to the third edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) The Future of Jobs report, which charts the jobs and skills of the future, half of us will have to retrain ourselves in the next five years to adapt to the modern workplace seeing as the double disruption of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing automation will transform jobs.
The Forum estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs could be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines but even more jobs – 97 million – could emerge that will be more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.
The more technology is used, the more the skills in demand will change over the next five years, and the skills gaps will continue to widen. For the employees who remain in their roles, the share of core skills that will change by 2025 is 40%, and 50% of all employees will need retraining.
Skills in demand
The skills that will be in demand include critical thinking and problem solving; these are at the top of the skills list that employers believe we will need in the next five years. This is consistent with the first report published in 2016.
Other emerging skills are in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
Respondents to the Future of Jobs survey estimate that about 40% of employees will need retraining of at least six months or less, but that number is higher for those in the consumer and healthcare industries.
In the financial services and energy sectors, the proportion of workers who will have to be retrained within six months is lower seeing as they will need more time-intensive programs.
The vast majority of business leaders (94%) now expect employees to acquire new skills in the workplace – a sharp increase from 65% in 2018.
According to 39% of employers, training will be provided internally. According to Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chair of the WEF, it will be supplemented by online learning platforms (16% of the training) and external consultants (11% of the training).
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated retraining in the workplace
The pandemic has accelerated the trend of online retraining. Between April and June 2020, Coursera Inc. – an American online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University Computer Science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller – has seen a fourfold increase in the number of people who have sought opportunities to hone or expand their skills.
Employers that provide online learning opportunities for their employees have increased fivefold, and there was a ninefold increase in enrolments for students who gained access to online resources through government programmes.
“We have the tools at our disposal. The abundance of technological innovation that defines our current era can be used to unleash human potential,” says Professor Klaus Schwab.
“We have the means to re-create and train individuals in unprecedented numbers, to deploy precision safety nets that protect displaced workers from poverty, and to create custom maps that orient displaced workers for the work of tomorrow where they will be able to flourish.”
According to the report, it will only take employees a few months to steer their careers in a different direction because of technology retraining today can be easier and faster.
How can you sharpen and expand your skills?
If you want to put yourself and your career on a different path by honing or expanding your skills, feel free to look at one of the following institutions that can make it possible:
S-leer: S-leer offers a variety of webinars and online courses that offer you new skills. Feel free to visit www.s-leer.co.za for more information.
Sol-Tech Vocational Training College offers extensive fields of study in scarce skills. For more details on this please visit the following link: https://sol-tech.co.za/inligting/studierigtings/
Akademia offers a variety of fields of study that ensure your brilliant career. To find out more about Akademia, please visit the following link: https://akademia.ac.za/
These are the top 10 job skills of tomorrow – and how long it takes to learn them: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/top-10-work-skills-of-tomorrow-how-long-it-takes-to-learn-them/