A report produced by the World Government Summit, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, takes a close look at how and where essential new skills can be developed through all major stages of education, from early childhood to lifelong learning, at a time when technologies including automation and artificial intelligence are fundamentally changing the nature of work.
The report, titled “The Skills Revolution and the Future of Learning and Earning,” was released at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the global event where world leaders, experts and decision makers from around the world are convening to discuss tools, policies, and models that are essential in shaping future governments. McKinsey is one of the knowledge partners of the summit.
The report draws from McKinsey’s ongoing research into implications of technology on the workplace and the educational challenges that this creates. One topic that often comes up amongst educators and policymakers is the rise of generative AI and its potential to revolutionise industries, for example its impact on the future of education. The report focuses substantially on the implications for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Workers globally are being affected by the increased deployment of automation in the workplace, with many likely to need to change occupations. In the MENA region alone, 45 percent of existing work activities have the potential to be automated, the report notes. That makes it critically important for everyone entering the workforce to acquire new skills that will be in demand in a tech-fueled future.
Demand will grow, in particular, for social and emotional skills, higher-level cognitive skills, and both basic and advanced digital skills, the report highlights.
“Despite the emphasis on the future, building strong foundations of core skills (like basic literacy and numeracy) and subject knowledge will continue to be essential,”
says Stephen Hall, report co-author and partner at McKinsey & Company.
Educational systems and companies are already building evolving lists of skills that will be required to mobilise learners and educators. For those already in the labour market, bold and frequent upskilling can expand earning opportunities; work experience can contribute between 40 and 60 percent of an individual’s overall human capital value.
The report examines skills development throughout the educational system. Early childhood is a critical period for skills development, with every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education producing a 7 to 10 percent per annum return on investment, according to one study. This is a particular opportunity for the MENA region to expand access and quality of early childhood education.
“Skills development needs to be an absolute priority for both public sector and private sector leaders in the coming years,”
said Safia Tmiri, a McKinsey associate partner in the Middle East.
“Everything in our research points to the critical importance for people to have the skills that will be in demand, to ensure that they can prosper in a technologically sophisticated world and that they can fully contribute to their societies and economies.”
News Source: Emirates News Agency