Learnability Will Be World’s Great Equalizer in Age of Acceleration

The future of work is bright according to ManpowerGroup "The Skills Revolution," a survey of 18,000 employers across all sectors in 43 countries, published at at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

One in five employers (19%) expect technological disruption to increase jobs as they adapt to the future of work and six in ten employers (64%) expect to maintain headcount if people have the right skills and are prepared to learn, apply and adapt.

New technologies will require increasingly specialist skills for people and organizations. Plenty has been written predicting the future: more jobs, different jobs, less jobs, even no jobs. Few are telling people that they will need new skills and they will need them more often to stay employable for jobs we may not even have heard of yet.

"In this Skills Revolution, learnability – the desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable – will be the great equalizer," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO.

"The rise in populism and the polarization of the workforce continues to play out in front of our eyes. It's time to take immediate action to upskill and reskill employees to address the gaps between the Haves and the Have Nots – those that have the right skills and those that are at risk of being left behind. We also need to draw in those that are not fully participating in the workforce. That's what we mean by the emergence of a Skills Revolution."

The report finds that employers in Italy, Guatemala and Peru are most optimistic about the impact of robots on jobs. Over a quarter of employers in India expect to reduce headcount; Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia are close behind.

People in IT and customer-facing roles should feel optimistic, those employers anticipate greatest increases in headcount.

Rapid growth in demand is also expected across almost all industries and geographies for data analysts required to make sense of big data. In HR too, headcount is set to increase in the short-term as they steer companies through this period of adjustment.

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