Global Leaders Join Reskilling Revolution with Push to Provide Skills to 10 Million People by 2020

26 Jan 2018

Oliver Cann, World Economic Forum: Tel.: +41 (0)79 799 3405; Email:

· The Forum’s Closing the Skills Gap 2020 initiative has already secured pledges to provide reskilling or upskilling opportunities to 8.1 million people

· 26 global companies are behind the drive, which is inspired by new research that suggests 96% of all workers at threat from technology could find similar or better work with adequate training

· The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place on 23-26 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme, Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

· For more information:

Davos, Switzerland, 26 January 2018 – Building on its latest analysis and call to action for addressing adult reskilling, Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All, the World Economic Forum today launches a new initiative, Closing the Skills Gap 2020, a global call for top global businesses to lead training, reskilling and upskilling initiatives between 2018 and 2020.

The initiative forms part of the Forum’s Closing the Skills Gap Project, which establishes global and national platforms to close skills gaps and reshape education and training for the future. To date, 26 global founding partners have signed up. These 26 businesses have collectively committed to training, reskilling and upskilling opportunities to over 8.1 million people by 2020.

Closing the Skills Gap 2020 will be supported by a dedicated online platform,, developed by Tata Consultancy Services. The platform will enable businesses to make measurable commitments to skills development and share insights and best practices.

“Digital technologies are transforming the world around us – including the way we work and the nature of relationships between businesses and employees. So it’s critical to provide people around the world with access to education that is relevant and contextual, to gain skills that move them from consumers to creators in this new digital economy. Only then will we harness the abundance of potential talent that’s currently untapped. I am proud of our pledge to help reskill over 1 million people by 2020 as part of Closing the Skills Gap 2020,” said Rajesh Gopinathan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services, India.

With the goal of expanding the coverage to 10 million people by 2020, the initiative will use analysis from the founding commitments to develop insights into the emerging priorities of corporate champions and to further strengthen education and training programmes. Top future skills reported by respondents include digital skills, problem solving, adaptability and interpersonal skills in addition to specialized skills within occupations.

“What we need to prepare individuals for the future of work is nothing short of a reskilling revolution. The platform and our public-private collaboration model are designed to change the game on adult reskilling and unlock the holistic push that will be needed to bring the world’s training systems up to speed for the challenges of the 21st century,” said Saadia Zahidi, Head of Education, Gender and Work, World Economic Forum.

The 26 global founding partners include: Abdul Latif Jameel, Adecco Group, Alghanim Industries, Alshaya Group, Averda, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Barclays, British Telecom, Consolidated Contractors Company, Construction Products Holding Company, Crescent Enterprises, Crescent Petroleum, EY, Jumeirah Group, King Abdullah Economic City, Mercer (MMC), Nestlé, Nokia Corporation, Olayan Financing Company, SAP, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Telecom, Tata Consultancy Services, TupperwareBrands Corporation, VPS Healthcare, and Zain Group. They have committed to scaling-up successful corporate initiatives or creating new initiatives aimed at addressing the global skills gap crisis through measures that include vocational training, work-based learning, entrepreneurship development, digital literacy programmes, and development of employability and soft skills. Collectively, commitments received to date will offer training and new skills to 8.1 million people by 2020.

The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting is taking place on 23-26 January 2018 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. More than 3,000 leaders from around the world are gathering in a collaborative effort to shape the global, regional and industry agendas, with a commitment to improve the state of the world.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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