Humans remain and will remain at the heart of the future of work, technology, and life. While tasks will be automated, a job will not. The age of automation raises a renewed demand for humans to learn new skills, whereas current workforce trends require new ways of working. These two factors are critical and form the endpoints of the future of work. The core of the future workforce entails the rise of new specialized skills and demand for more flexible ways of working. It is crucial to examine in details the specific core skills necessary for both today and future workforce and to identify the ones that both schools and tertiary institutions should embrace as part of their learning process.
A logical starting point is to have a strong basis and a foundation for specific core skills necessary for today and future of work. Transformation in work tools and work culture will be drastic. Jobs requiring physical activities in predictable environments or patterns will decline rapidly. An incredible shortage of highly skilled workforce exists today and is bound to rise if bold and decisive actions are not implemented right from the learning institutions to workplaces. Businesses and the education sector need to collaborate in addressing the skill gaps and build a progressive talent pipeline for the future of workforce. The need to begin examining the world outside the cave cannot be disputed. Identifying the skills needed to thrive in the workplace today and more so in the future cannot be ignored.
Researchers anticipate a future of improved productivity and endless potential of digital technologies. The impact of automation is expected to be massive and revolutionary in the near future. We need a human transformation, a human revolution. Machines will free humans from monotonous jobs and improve productivity and including efficiency. Technological progress will continue to affect employment. Our focus should shift towards fostering and optimizing individual gifts, enhancing human centric skills, including context, problem solving, creativity and flexibility. The transformation needs to begin from schools and including tertiary institutions.
The task is challenging, but not hopeless; implementation of concrete strategies for changing educational practice in support of all learners and alignment to continuous progress made in the technological space cannot be understated. We need to move out of Plato’s cave for a dose of reality. The gap between the academic institutions and the enterprise sector needs to be closed. Tertiary institutions need to fully take up leadership roles in innovations, research and development and professional training. The ability to collaborate, communicate effectively, solve problems, think inventively, demonstrate strong analytical skills and process-technological fluency is a must have for today’s workforce and even more for the future workforce.
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‘INUA AI provides these essential skills and a platform for young people to be trained and connected to digital/tech job opportunities over the internet through a workforce extension program.’