A report published by global management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG), WorldSkills Russia and Rosatom has identified new ways for governments and employers to address the growing skills crisis and boost economies.
The research, Mission Talent– Mass Uniqueness: A Global Challenge for One Billion Workers, has been presented at the WorldSkills Conference 2019 in Kazan, as concerns increase around the world about how to address the dramatic shift in employment caused by new technologies and business models, as well as rapid and continuing urbanization.
The skills mismatch already impacts over 50% of employers. By 2030, 1.4 billion workers will not have the right skills for their jobs. A third of all existing professions are expected to change by 2035 with the expansion of IT, AI and robots. According to a recent IMF study, because of the increasing gap between the skills of the current global workforce and the skills businesses need to adapt to technological and market changes, 6% of the world’s GDP, or USD 5 trillion, is lost every year.
The research assessed the conditions affecting the skills mismatch in around 30 countries including the US, India, Russia and South Africa. Employment systems that were more “human-centric” were found to show both lower levels of skills mismatch and higher productivity. For example, the US which has a highly human-centric system, has a skills mismatch that impacts less than a third of the workforce and one of the highest levels of productivity of the countries assessed. Meanwhile South Africa, which was classified as a labour workforce exporter, had a skills mismatch of over 50% and the lowest productivity.
The report found that adopting a more human-centric approach to human capital development could accelerate GDP growth in a given country by between 0.5% and 2%. The recommended approaches to delivering this address three priorities: workforce capabilities, motivation and access to training.
Alexey Likhachev, CEO of ROSATOM, contributor to the research, said, “Employees are at the heart of everything, this is Rosatom’s business strategy. As we expand our operations globally and actively participate in developing, training and upskilling specialists in order to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills”.
“In Rosatom we highly value our workforce and so are striving towards finding the best practices that can help to alleviate the skills gap. This is why, in the search for a truly global solution to the problem, we are pleased to have sponsored global research, culminating in this comprehensive report which focuses on a human-centred approach to ensure that nobody is left behind in this fast-paced technological and digitally advancing environment”.
To improve the workforce capabilities, the authors of the study recommended development of educational and training programmes in co-operation with employers, and to improve the training of teachers and personalized teaching aids. To address employee motivation, the best strategic solutions are promoting the benefits of personal development and installing a system of incentives.
Robert Urazov, Director General of WorldSkills Russia, highlighted: “Developing the human resources for the future world economy is one of the key challenges currently facing the global community. At the same time, until a person takes responsibility for their own professional development in life, the support tools that are given to them won’t work for them.”
“You can put all sorts of opportunities in front of them, at colleges, universities, with apprenticeships and so on, but as long as a person believes that they do not need this, or thinks that this isn’t their responsibility, then the support tools available in the market won’t work. Thus, for institutional partners and market players, the key task is to create tools of mass uniqueness.”
The researchers also found the best solutions to encourage access to opportunities were the development of domestic demand, increasing the talent available locally, and maintaining adequate supply and demand balance in the labour market.
“Mass standardization, one education and one profession for life — in today’s world no longer works, neither for the employees themselves nor for the economy and the country as a whole. The old system still exists by inertia, but the conflict with the real demands of society and business is obvious and will only worsen if nothing is done”, said Vladislav Boutenko, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Chairman of BCG Russia.
“We need to move to a new concept of human-centricity , which looks at the workforce not just as a resource, but at individuals with their own needs, aspirations, capabilities, and potential. Countries that focus on human-centric principles demonstrate much higher labor productivity rates than those where the skills mismatch has reached its peak.”
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About WorldSkills Russia
WorldSkills Russia is an official representative of the international WorldSkills movement which covers all regions of the country. WorldSkills Russia upholds international standards in the attestation of practical exams held at colleges and graduate training schools. It also seeks to develop an expert community and implement best international and local teaching practices through further skills enhancements for job coaches and teaching specialists. Find out more under www.worldskills.ru
BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with offices in more than 90 cities in 50 countries.