Research finds global skills mismatch impacts 1.3 billion people

Report suggests a different approach to education and the social contract between employee and employer.

A report published by global management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG), WorldSkills Russia and energy company Rosatom states that technological transformations from the industrial revolution to the digital revolution has led to a massive global skills mismatch which impact half of the world’s employers. 

The report titled Mission Talent – Mass Uniqueness: A Global Challenge for One Billion Workers, has been presented at the World Skills Conference 2019 in Kazan, Russia finds that the skills mismatch today affects 1.3 billion people, and every year the global economy pays a 6 percent tax in the form of lost labor productivity. By 2030, 1.4 billion workers will not have the right skills for their jobs. Meanwhile, a third of all existing professions are expected to change by 2035 with the expansion of IT, AI and robots. 

Reads the report: “To overcome these challenges, a new model is necessary that is different from the twentieth century approach. It is only possible to minimise the skills mismatch, increase productivity, and reduce the costs of retraining specialists within a social framework that involves unlocking one’s personal and professional potential without harming others.” 

What is going to be required to address the problem, according to the report, is a different approach to education. Before, education has been about eliminating illiteracy, then, with accelerating mass production,  massively raise the quality of education to the base level corresponding to the needs of the key sectors of the economy. It was this reality that led to secondary and higher education becoming a universal currency that employees could exchange for a profession and that would last them throughout their lives. 

In the future, however, there has to be a concept of human centricity, guided by the following principles: development of a fundamental skill set, creation of an environment that enables lifelong employability, self-sustainability in choosing a career path, labor market transparency, skills liquidity, inclusiveness of the labor market, and value driven employment. 

To fully unlock the potential of human capital in the context of constant change, it is necessary to shift from the mass standardisation of education and activities to mass uniqueness, i.e., to consider the workforce not as a consolidated economic resource, but rather as individuals, and take into account the needs, capabilities, and potential of each person.