The world is changing. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here – and it is having an impact on everything, including the future of work. A significant evolution of the labour market is forecast over the next 10 years, and we do not yet fully know all the jobs of the future.
Given the hyper-transformation of technology, business models and work, it is important to understand and anticipate what this means for youth, society, businesses and government, so that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the digital economy. Now more than ever, we need to invest in a new paradigm in the way we acquire the skills needed for jobs – a model that allows for perpetual, renewable skills development.
Imagine a future where educational institutions, employers and individuals work together in an entirely new way. They collaborate fully to provide the foundation for perpetual learning so that everyone can participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.17
The concept of skilling, reskilling and lifelong learning is not new. What is new is that the pace of disruption is faster than ever; educational and career pathways are less defined; and the need for perpetual learning is the new normal. In this model, universities play the role of orchestrators in the talent ecosystem – which includes community colleges, vocational institutions, online course providers, boot camps, project-based work and entrepreneurial challenges. Together, they create new relationships with employers and industry in their local areas to provide relevant skilled talent for everything from one project, to short-term or long-term employment.
Although these are all impactful efforts, they are unlikely to be enough to keep up with the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies and educational institutions can lead the way in helping to create a more inclusive future by transitioning from traditional models and coming together to inspire perpetual learning. Not only can we prepare people with the right skills and help them participate in the digital economy, but we can collectively help ensure that no one is left behind.