Dr. Vesselina Ratcheva
Insights Lead, World Economic Forum
Employers agree that by 2025 we will work shoulder to shoulder with robots and artificial intelligence. With the right investment made today there is every indication that human ingenuity can continue to be the driving force behind economic prosperity.
Data from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report suggests that the jobs of tomorrow can be found in fields as diverse as cloud computing, the green economy, content production, the care economy, people and culture, marketing and product development. These professions are poised to be the face of opportunity in the future of work.
Impact of COVID-19 on the workforce
We are at an inflection point. The International Labour Organization projects that in 2021 the employment shortfall caused by COVID-19 will reach 75 million jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed lives and livelihoods along the lines of our societies’ pre-existing inequalities.
Workers from disadvantaged communities have experienced more severe loss of employment and have often been at the frontlines of the pandemic. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 predicts that the current disruption will result in 136 year wait for gender parity – an additional generation – as women’s labour market prospects declined.
Investment needed to drive growth
As business leaders and governments gear up to support a more equal recovery, there are investments that can drive growth, employment and social prosperity in tandem. There is also increasing recognition that these investments must be targeted to support the needs of diverse communities and to ensure that no one gets left behind in in the post-pandemic economy.
Such investment can secure social cohesion and wellbeing in the coming years while also being good for business. Employers estimate that investing in training people for new jobs generates return on investment within a year and addresses the chronic talent shortages that underpin today’s labour markets.
There is also increasing recognition that these investments must be targeted to support the needs of diverse communities and to ensure that no one gets left behind in in the post-pandemic economy.
The World Economic Forum is calling for a ‘Reskilling Revolution‘ and creating a platform for employers, training providers and governments to collectively provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030. The companies and governments already taking part are gearing up to deliver a significant investment in skills-based job transitions to the jobs of tomorrow by mapping in-demand skills, curating new learning curricula, mapping job transition and reaching under-served populations.