Businesses that don’t invest in training and teaching their employees new skills over the next few years are going to get left behind, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum.

“New technology adoption drives business growth, new job creation and augmentation of existing jobs, provided it can fully leverage the talents of a motivated and agile workforce who are equipped with futureproof skills to take advantage of new opportunities through continuous retraining and upskilling. Conversely, skills gaps—both among workers and among an organization’s senior leadership—may significantly hamper new technology adoption and therefore business growth,” noted Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in the report preface.

Schwab says it’s critical for businesses to take an active role in training and for workers to take the initiative to become lifelong learners. Otherwise, he says, an “undesirable lose-lose scenario” will result — technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality.

He says that to “truly rise to the challenge of formulating a winning workforce strategy … businesses will need to recognize human capital investment as an asset rather than a liability.”

The Future of Jobs Report 2018 was prepared by the Centre for the New Economy and Society for the World Economic Forum, which is an international organization for public-private cooperation committed to improving the state of the world.

The report found that: “Crafting a sound in-company lifelong learning system, investing in human capital and collaborating with other stakeholders on workforce strategy should thus be key business imperatives, critical to companies’ medium to long-term growth, as well as an important contribution to society and social stability. A mindset of agile learning will also be needed on the part of workers as they shift from the routines and limits of today’s jobs to new, previously unimagined futures.”

The findings also note that “making an inclusive culture of lifelong learning a reality is increasingly imperative for organizations and for workers whose growth strategies and job roles are being affected by technological change.”

The report outlined the top 10 softskills needed:

  1. Cognitive flexibility
  2. Negotiation
  3. Service orientation
  4. Judgement and decision-making
  5. Emotional intelligence
  6. Co-ordinating with others
  7. People management
  8. Creativity
  9. Critical thinking
  10. Complex problem-solving

Employers surveyed for the report estimate that by 2022, at least half of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling. The employers also indicated that they expect to use their own resources along with private training providers to deliver the required training.

To help with this, Velsoft has put together a package of instructor-led courseware training materials that aligns to these necessary softskills. Find out more information here.