By Nico Strydom
Over the past few years the workplace has changed significantly, with new work responsibilities having seen the light and resulting in skills that were valuable a decade ago perhaps no longer being relevant in the workplace today.
There are skills that can be learnt, such as digital skills, and then there are inherent soft skills, such as being alert and open to change, or being inquisitive by nature. Many of these skills will probably not be taught in schools or universities.
According to the World Economic Forum’s report, The Future of Jobs, by 2025 half of the world’s working population will have to be taught new skills.
SizweSihle Dlamini, director of client experience at Hoorah Digital, believes that attention should be focused on skills necessary to flourish in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
“Instead of skills such as coding and data analysis, we should be looking at the social, or ‘soft’ skills, that provide for a more flowing, open-ended approach to work, learning, development and innovation,” says Dlamini.
According to The Future of Jobs report, skills such as problem-solving, self-management, working with people, and technology use and management will be most in demand in the future.
Dlamini is of the opinion that the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn constantly will be the skill most valued in a technology activated future.
According to the International Financing Corporation (IFC), 230 million work opportunities in Africa south of the Sahara will require digital skills by 2030. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation are also transforming the work landscape, which means needs and requirements of certain work roles are changing, existing work opportunities are becoming superfluous and new work opportunities are being created that didn’t exit previously.
Robin Fisher, regional deputy president of Salesforce Emerging Markets, believes that it has never been as important as the present to actively search for new skills. “A fortunate side-effect of the past two years’ disruption was the shifting to a more online learning environment on a big scale.
“Both the public and private sectors have a responsibility to unlock essential upgrading, re-education and digital literacy within the current as well as the future labour market, in order to prepare people for the future of work and to develop the abilities to drive innovation and growth effectively,” says Fisher.
“By better understanding the challenges to narrow the digital divide and skills gap and shape our reaction and support accordingly, we can make a difference. But we have to see it as a joint effort to break down learning obstacles and create an even and accessible path to a digital-first future.”
Hoorah Digital: https://hoorahdigital.com/
Salesforce Emerging Markets: https://www.salesforce.com/eu/