Education, training and development organisations navigate paths across new terrain and lead markets into the future. This future changes at different speeds, with technology changing behavior and jobs.
Market Pressures Require Demand and Supply Actions
New career opportunities require targeted market strategies to address skills development needs. Competitive education, training and development organisations must connect different data to identify current and future market trends.
For example, in-demand occupations data shows where firms must initiate and drive interest in the associated or required qualifications for new jobs.
Organisations offering qualifications to meet the rising demand for these skills must also drive, or create the demand within the labour market i.e. they cannot assume the market is adequately informed to realise future job opportunities.
The term ‘in-demand occupations’ refers to job fields that are growing quickly or job posts that are difficult to fill (shortages in the labour market).
According to the Department of Higher Education and Training:
To be in high demand, a job should:
- have become very popular with firms during the past 5 years;
- be showing an increase over two years;
- it’s predicted that the demand will continue into the future;
- has been identified as a scarce skill in the labour market; or
- is a new job field that’s expected to grow as a result of innovation, technological advancements and the development of new industries (for example, the establishment of new occupations in “green” industries).
Behind the Divide
Many workers feel that technological and qualification demands limit their job security. Unless employers assume responsibility for up-skilling workers, redundant qualifications and skill sets will result in increased unemployment.
Development organisations and unions should collude <oh I did soo mean cooperate > to take advantage of government training incentives and address reskilling as opposed to retrenching
Defending the good life
The path to a good life appears increasingly difficult to identify and attain for a growing number of people across our global community. Gender, inter-regional, generational and income inequalities are at risk of widening.
A key factor driving these concerns is the changing nature of work and the extent to which opportunities for finding stable, meaningful work that provides a good income have increasingly become fractured and polarized, favouring those fortunate enough to be living in certain geographies and to be holding certain in-demand skills.
Economic value creation is increasingly based on the use of ever higher levels of specialized skills and knowledge, creating unprecedented new opportunities for some while threatening to leave behind a significant share of the workforce.
In a recent survey of OECD countries, more than one in four adults reported a mismatch between their current skill sets and the qualifications required to do their jobs.
(World Economic Forum, 2018)
I think we all agree that reskilling the workforce and in providing more support to youth making career choices while at school is imperative.
We need productive ways of planning job transitions that minimize strain on companies’ workforce strategies, public finances and social safety nets, as well as the affected individuals themselves.
In South Africa, receiving BEE points and tax incentives attract employers to occupational training. However, many employers diminish the value of the interventions and participate purely to reap financial and reputation benefits.
Education, training and development organisations serving these firms, are often pressured to concede to unfair learning arrangements for workers, thereby jeopardising their accreditation status..
Job Displacement and Rapid Changes
Everyone needs to be concerned about job relevance and skills required to successfully move people into future productivity.
The WEF report outlines the following key points for consideration:
- Individuals: those under threat of redundancy require urgent training in relevant skills. All workers must accept the need for continuous learning as the key to secure employment and build satisfying careers. Job transition strategies should be seen as opportunities..
- Employers: it’s not viable to rely on new workers entering the labour market with right and ready skills. Recent research from the World Economic Forum shows that investment in workforce reskilling and development, reflected positive results across a wide range of scenarios.
- Policy-makers: “fostering continuous reskilling and lifelong learning across the economy will be critical in order to maintain a labour force with the tools needed to fuel inclusive economic growth and to ensure that companies can find workers with the skills needed to help them succeed and contribute their full potential to the economy and society.” (ibid)
Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All : World Economic Forum, January 2018 www.weforum.org