• Businesses need to promise employees the opportunity to develop and learn new skills, says Manpower Group Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising.
  • Skills talent is, and will continue to be, the competitive advantage for many organizations.
  • A new World Economic Forum report has highlighted the challenge and need for reskilling and upskilling.

Businesses need to become organizations that promise employees the ability to learn new skills and develop, says Manpower Group Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising.

"Many of the people coming into the workforce today, they'll be working for 65, 70 years," he said in an interview with the World Economic Forum. "They will not stay in one job with one company all of their lives."

So brands and organizations need to be places where people come by choice "because they know they can develop their skill sets" and not focus on people staying for 60 years, he said.

"We don't know how long you will be with us, hopefully for a long time. But if not, what we can promise you for sure is that you will have acquired new skills that make you more competitive in the labour market than you were before."

Jonas Prising skills talent digital organizations
Employing a skilled workforce is vital for a successful company.
Image: World Economic Forum
Jobs

What is the World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit?

The World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit brings together leaders from business, government, civil society, media and the broader public to shape a new agenda for growth, jobs, skills and equity.

The four-day virtual event, being held on 20-23 October 2020, comes as the world seeks a way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has further disrupted the world of work after years of growing income inequality, concerns about tech-driven job displacement, and rising societal discord.

The Summit will develop new frameworks, shape innovative solutions and accelerate action on four thematic pillars: Economic Growth, Revival and Transformation; Work, Wages and Job Creation; Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning; and Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice.

A mindset change

Prising acknowledged that this is a "huge mindset change for a lot of organizations".

A lot will ask, "why should I invest in all of these people when they can just take their skills and go?" For Prising, it's because of the competitive importance of skilled talent, but also what the workers of the future are looking for.

"Skilled talent is going to be and continue to be the competitive advantage for many organizations," he said. But, people are "going to choose organizations that promise them progress and a skills portfolio that gives them the freedom to choose where they can work".

"Hopefully, that freedom translates into staying with an organization for a long time," he added. "But, if they choose not to, then they will take their skills somewhere else and they will have benefitted from the experience and the organization."

Jobs Reset Summit

Reskilling, upskilling and the future of work are key topics at the World Economic Forum's Jobs Reset Summit this week.

Its Future of Jobs report, launched during the event, highlights the challenge and need for reskilling and upskilling today's workforce.

For workers set to remain in their roles in the next five years, nearly 50% will need reskilling for their core skills, the report found.

50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025.
A reskilling revoluion?
Image: World Economic Forum

“In the future, we will see the most competitive businesses are the ones that have invested heavily in their human capital – the skills and competencies of their employees,” said Saadia Zahidi, Manging Director at the Forum.