What does the future of work look like for today’s children?
What influences the future?
Mega-trends influence the future. Globalisation, technological progress and demographic changes are without a doubt the three mega-trends which have the potential to significantly change the nature of work as we know it. In addition to these three mega-trends, our values and personal preferences are shifting and couple with these three mega-trends. Together these five trends will most certainly affect the quality and quantity of jobs available in the future.
“Today’s children will need to be prepared
with the right types of skills
to successfully navigate through our
technology-rich and ever-changing world.”
What skills will employers look for?
Organisations are adapting and shaping and ‘Agility’ is already the new mantra for business. Some organisations are moving away from traditional jobs and job descriptions in favour of empowering employees to determine their own roles and tasks adopting a more project-based approach. This shift is helping forward-thinking organisations to continually adapt and shape their ways of working in light of our unpredictable environment.
Two types of skills will be particularly important for today’s children as they enter the workforce. With the likely disappearance of more routine tasks, much greater emphasis will be placed on soft skills. As we navigate towards increased automation, soft skills (which are much harder to automate) will become more sought-after than ever before. These include the ability to communicate, collaborate, lead, solve problems and self-organise.
Digital skills at present are not predicted to be in any particular shortage; however, there is concern around generic digital skills (ICT) such as the ability to use communication and information search or office productivity software. There exists already a significant mismatch between supply and demand.
What about salaries in the future?
Furthermore, as the world of work navigates away from traditional job roles and descriptions, so too will the way companies pay and reward employees. Newer criteria could include an employee’s portfolio of skills, in essence, people may well be paid based on their abilities rather than their job titles.
The future of work will be more networked, more decentralised, more mobile, more immediate, more project-based, collaborative and more responsive. Equipping children with the right soft skills will help to prepare them for a brighter and more rewarding future.
Accenture (2016). HR drives the Agile organisation.
CIO (2017). Are you ready to become an employee of the future?
Deloitte (2016). Transitioning to the Future of work and the workplace.
OECD (2017). Future of work and skills.