[Column] Ntombi Mphokane: What will it take to tackle the global skills crisis?
03-07-2020 06:44:02 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 2031 | Tags:

If the World Economic Forum (WEF) is to be believed, then business across the globe could be facing a reskilling emergency. According to them, 42 per cent of core skills required to perform existing jobs are going to change by 2022. Technology skills, for example, will be in high demand, making it one of the driving forces behind job transformation.

While business is under pressure to evolve, the people need to be nurtured, developed and grown accordingly: “It is clear that all workforces are under pressure as almost everything is changing. We are squarely in what the United Nations calls the 'decade of delivery', and while it is forcing a focus on sustainable and responsible growth, it is also placing significant pressure on all sectors to transform and deliver. We need to be cognisant of what this means to the people of the business, if success is going to be achieved.”

A new report, by the WEF, states that technology, and people and culture are two of seven fastest-growing professions, which is an astute finding: It would be logical to think that highly developed technological skills would be most critical, however what the WEF’s findings prove is that the ability to know how to interact with each other is just as important. Growing people remains critical, looking at areas such as creativity, collaboration and specialised skills such as sales, HR, education and care.

To support the business, you need to better support the people and this is where the reskilling becomes key.

It’s important to reskill considering both the individual and the company, it is important to know what both require to effect a positive change. Only then will an evolution be successful.

It is possible that while the fast-growing jobs have a skills shortage, other jobs could become redundant. This is the challenge for all businesses, to simultaneously address both the requirements of the current and the future workforce, all with the same goal, to build stronger businesses.

This conundrum cannot be ignored, if it is not addressed, the skills shortage will only grow and negatively impact businesses and economies worldwide: Sometimes sustainability is not about product as much as it is about your people.

Ntombi Mphokane is the HR and Transformation Executive at e4