In most countries, there are too few workers expert enough in computer hardware and software, programming and applications to meet demand from firms.
But the next biggest shortage, which is nearly as great, is in the “judgment and decision-making skills and communication and verbal abilities” category. These influence the acquisition and application of information in problem-solving, and are in shortage in almost all countries.
Labor market imbalances have increased in recent years in several countries, showing a relative deterioration in their ability to respond effectively to changes in labor market needs.
Results suggest that, on average, the countries that experience more pronounced labor market imbalances also show lower productivity levels.
A more efficient use of skill needs information can help workers and trainers make the right decisions when deciding in which skills to invest. Countries need adult learning systems that deliver not just any skills but the right skills, so that there is a better match between the skills available in the workforce and those needed by employers. This would reduce skills shortages and surpluses.
2. Make training a boardroom issue
Viewpoint from Daniela Florea, Co-founder, Geo Strategies
What will it take to thrive in a workplace where AI, automation and digital technologies are the norm? Excellent skills in written and verbal communication, collaboration and teamwork will be essential.
Self-motivation, a desire to succeed, enthusiasm, initiative and curiosity will be vital too.
More prosaically, the worker of the future will need an ability to produce clear graphical representations and data visualizations that convey stories.
Numerical and analytical skills will be “hygiene” skills for the workforce of the future. An ability to translate technical features into better business outcomes will be more necessary than coding or advanced statistics, because technology can do those things.