Education and Skills

Reskilling Revolution: Preparing 1 billion people for tomorrow’s economy

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The Big Picture
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Future of Work

  • An urgent investment in human capital is needed to create a fairer world.
  • In the next five years, 23% of global jobs will change due to industry transformation, including through artificial intelligence and other text, image and voice processing technologies.
  • The World Economic Forum is working with over 350 organizations to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and economic opportunities by 2030.

The impact of the reskilling revolution.

More than 600 million people around the world are set to be reached by the World Economic Forum’s Reskilling Revolution platform by 2030. The ambitious programme is preparing the global workforce with the skills needed to future-proof their careers, as technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) enable greater automation. While most efforts are focused on digital skills such as AI, big data and programming, business leaders strongly emphasise leadership, curiosity and building resilience. Over half of Reskilling Revolution efforts additionally place great weight on preparing workers for green jobs.

At the heart of the initiative is a longstanding commitment from over 70 CEOs who understand how a skilled and motivated workforce will benefit all stakeholders and the planet.

By working with a growing network of 34 committed ministers in 17 countries, the Reskilling Revolution has mobilized a multistakeholder community of over 370 organizations. Founding members include the Adecco Group, Coursera, the government of France, iamtheCODE, Infosys, the Lego Foundation, LinkedIn, ManpowerGroup, PwC, Salesforce and UNICEF.

More widely, this community includes business members, chief learning officers, online learning providers, labour unions, NGOs, education practitioners and philanthropic organizations.

The global networks of Skills and Education Accelerators primarily aim to expand the Reskilling Revolution at a national level. These national accelerators connect best-in-class ideas and practical implementation across countries and sectors, creating a unique network for sharing ideas, collaborations and practices. The network encompasses countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam and Qatar.

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What’s the challenge?

Technological change, geoeconomic trends and the green transition pose great risks to people’s livelihoods and are fundamentally transforming labour markets. The Future of Jobs Report 2023 indicates that by 2027, 43% of work tasks will be automated. Urgent investment in human capital is therefore needed to create a fairer world by ensuring people are given the chance to fulfil their potential and thrive.

The Forum predicts an overall net positive between job growth and decline. However, if current trends continue, outdated learning programmes will further exacerbate the skills mismatch in the future.

Only 0.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) is currently invested toward adult lifelong learning. Yet Forum research done in collaboration with PwC shows that investment in reskilling and upskilling of the current global workforce has the potential to boost GDP by $6.5 trillion by 2030 while investing in future-ready education for today’s generation of school children could add an additional $2.54 trillion over the same period.

Organizations have to act differently. Creating shareholder value can only be done in conjunction with taking care of employees, customers and communities. And that includes the responsibility to help people learn new skills, adapt for future jobs and to become creators of talent.

— Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup

Our approach to reskilling.

The Forum has built the Reskilling Revolution platform around a three-pronged approach to creating tangible impact:

  • Sourcing commitments.
  • Co-creating solutions.
  • Connecting stakeholders.

The initiative’s roadmap for 2024-2025 includes accelerating reskilling and upskilling worldwide, surfacing AI-enhanced learning models, and maintaining geographic focus through country accelerators. Impact is achieved through a combination of partner-led initiatives that are either focused on their own workforces or externally-facing and country-level strategy development.

Within the Accelerator network, Brazil’s Skills Accelerator showcased a remarkable achievement, with over 2.2 million individuals enrolling in their training courses. Their progress was further amplified through strategic collaborations with private sector companies through a robust Memorandum of Understanding. This collaborative effort aims to synchronize and strengthen qualification and employment platforms.

Within the scope of eight industries, the four areas of focus encompass:

  • Creating a new skills manual.
  • Integrating learning and employment services into a unified platform.
  • Researching innovative financing approaches for upskilling and reskilling programmes.
  • Incorporating digital skills and other innovations into educational curricula.

Companies consistently provide updates on upskilling and reskilling figures, utilizing SENAI’s platform – a network of industry-focused technical and vocational education providers in Brazil – to offer transformative training courses and raise awareness among their employees. As a result, the Accelerator programme is firmly on course to impact the lives of 8 million Brazilians by 2030.

The Reskilling Revolution platform also features a new round of business commitments for 2024, including from IBM, which has committed to training underrepresented communities in AI, Skillsoft and SAP, which are focused on developing skills in design and user experience, networks and cybersecurity, AI and big data, and programming.

Further, the platform continues to identify Lighthouses – models of public-private collaborations taking innovative approaches to education and skills. The latest round of Skills-First Lighthouses features examples of organizations leveraging skills as the main driver of hiring and talent management. These lighthouses continue to inspire other organizations aiming to contribute to the Reskilling Revolution.

Image: World Economic Forum

Get involved.

The Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society is the global secretariat for the Reskilling Revolution. The Centre aims to advance prosperous, inclusive and equitable economies and societies. Working together, stakeholders deepen their understanding of complex issues, shape new models and standards and drive scalable, collaborative action for systemic change.

Leading global companies and international, civil society and academic organizations currently work through the Centre for the New Economy and Society to promote new approaches to competitiveness, deploy education and skills for tomorrow’s workforce, build a new pro-worker and pro-business agenda for jobs, and integrate equality and inclusion into the new economy.

Contact us to learn more and work with us.

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Education and SkillsJobs and the Future of WorkEconomic Growth
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