According to a new report by Deloitte Global and GBC-Education, “Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, For businesses: A framework for action,” the business community must take a proactive role in preparing today’s youth to ensure that they are ready to become the workforce of tomorrow. The report states that 2 billion youth worldwide stand to be left behind by the changes.
David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global Chairman shares, “When it comes to addressing the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industry Revolution, I believe we need a new mindset for action to ensure we are preparing now for the workforce of the future.”
The study identified four essential skills to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution:
- Workforce readiness: Basic skills such as time management, personal presentation, and attendance are critical to entering the workforce.
- Soft skills: As humans increasingly work alongside robots, uniquely human skills, such as creativity, complex problem solving, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking will be irreplaceable by machines.
- Technical skills: New employment opportunities are being created through technology. Jobs that are currently going vacant often require industry-specific technical skills and targeted training.
- Entrepreneurship: As the gig economy grows, youth’s ability to be innovative, creative, and take the initiative to launch new ventures will serve them well in the 4IR.
For businesses to accelerate, they need meaningful solutions to fill the existing skill gap. The four critical recommendations suggested by the study are:
- Align stakeholders’ objectives and approaches: To achieve scalable results, businesses need to implement an integrated approach that leverages each group’s strengths and capabilities for impact. This includes coordinating opportunities, identifying gaps in training, finding opportunities for co-investment, and sharing information about future talent needs.
- Engage in public policy: Business has an opportunity to help the government prepare policies, rules, and regulations that will benefit youth and strengthen the future workforce.
- Develop robust talent strategies: Reviewing and adapting current talent strategies will be critical to future success and developing best practices that promote inclusivity and innovation will be critical.
Invest in workforce skilling: Employee training can no longer be a “check the box” activity, and business needs to evaluate, invest, and promote workforce training programs strategically so that future talent needs and requirements can be met.