Technology acceleration and climate targets are contributing to a massive skill gap

While we took almost 450 years to move from creating the printing press to the car, we have created a quantum computer in fifty years from the time the first microprocessor was made in 1971. Rapid changes in technology have only accelerated since the pandemic started and as a consequence we are seeing a huge skill gap in today’s workforce. By the time people learn a new technology a new variant or something totally revolutionary has come along.

Technology changes however are not the only contributor. The new global report, entitled ‘Skills for a Greener Future’, covers thirty-two countries which together account for 63 per cent of world employment, 65 per cent of global GDP and 63 per cent of CO2 emissions. This new edition presents an expanded qualitative analysis and quantitative estimates of occupational skills needed for a low carbon economy. The findings are similar to those of others and highlight a huge gap in skills at almost every aspect.

We need a transformation that involves, learners, teachers, new content and new institutions to adapt to the new skills needs for the Digital and Green economy we are seeking to create.

  • Learners (young and old) and even corporate teams need a new set of skills and new courseware that is relevant
  • Teachers themselves need to be reskilled even as they deliver something very different for a new world
  • Content is needed for a new way of learning and discovery for the new world of jobs. This also includes content and processes that are cloud-first. Further, all this needs to be done keeping in mind the new technologies that are emerging and the new types of content that can be created using them.
  • New / Redesigned Institutions are needed where new digital and sustainability journeys need to be mapped and studied.

These efforts, however, need to be supplemented with new opportunities such as green jobs. A report from WEF and the New Nature Economy project says that tackling the global nature crisis could create 400 million jobs and $10 trillion (£8 trillion) in business value each year by 2030.