Building Critical Skills for Jobs of the Future

The future skills needed for the jobs of the future are being defined.

In its Future of Jobs Report 2020, the World Economic Forum paints a picture of a demand for new skills. The pace of technology adoption remains unabated and there is a drive for upskilling and reskilling. 50% of all employees will need reskilling in the next five years.

Three in five people are looking to change career because of organizational restructuring, shifts in business strategy and a rethink of career path and workplace location. They are exploring what meets their immediate needs, and also how best to future-proof their career.

What does this mean for organizations? What does this mean for individuals within an employed workforce or entering the employment marketplace? 

Two important actions are needed:

  1. Organizations must define the skills they need to achieve their future goals.
  2. Individuals need access to tools that assess their transferrable skills for other careers, allowing them to consider career paths that may otherwise not be considered.

Defining the Skills Needed and Looking Beyond Hard Skills

‘Future skills’ are those identified as essential for the everchanging work environment. However, we believe that organizations must look beyond the recognizable technical hard skills that one might expect.

We believe that the essential future skills also include the behavioral competencies needed to help more agile and digitized organizations grow.

Traditionally viewed as trickier to measure soft skills, we can reliably measure and benchmark these skills.

One clear advantage of incorporating these skills is that they are longer lasting than hard skills as the rate of technological change accelerates. The line between hard and soft skills blurs as future skills represent a shift in thinking about the workforce.

Roadmap for Future Skills

It can be a very real challenge for organizations to understand the current skillset of their workforce and those steps needed to take the business forward.

The Aon Future Skills framework is a model we have developed that maps job roles and skills onto a single framework. It forms the backbone of our work with clients looking to convert their workforce, job architecture and organizational structure into a more agile and digital firm.

Developed by bringing together trends research from global think tanks, research centers, client insights and our own data, the framework organizes future skills into 18 areas. It allows for different skills libraries, categories and models to be plotted into one framework.

This helps benchmark current skills capability and prevalence within a company against its peers. It also helps business leaders to appreciate the current shape of these future skills and plan how to provide for any skills gaps.

The framework also helps individuals to discover how their current skills can be deployed in the future workplace. It can show how, with reskilling and upskilling, an individual can develop new future-focused skills.

As an example, take the innovative project Vodafone has implemented by working with the team at Aon and building on the Vodafone Future Jobs Finder tool.

Vodafone Future Jobs Finder Tool: a New Era

Vodafone is committed to supporting people developing the future skills they need to thrive in our digital society. Back in 2018, Vodafone launched Future Jobs Finder tool to help people navigate digital careers and make informed career choices based on an assessment of their skills, interests and motivations.

Leading with an innovative and scientifically-robust assessment, individuals working through the tool are given guidance on future career options. It highlights transferrable skills and strengths, making it useful for younger people starting out on their career and for those considering a career change. They also get access to learning resources to help them on their way and live job opportunities across 20 countries.

Uncovering the Possible

At the core of Vodafone’s Future Jobs Finder is a skills model that draws from Aon’s Future Skills Framework and external research to create a list of 29 key skills linked with future job demands.
It means that those with a background in a non-technology field, but an interest in moving to a digital role, can see how their current skills can be deployed in new areas. It also highlights the skills they may need to develop in order to move into other roles. After completing the assessment, they are presented with their career matches and what skills they need to develop for each of these future-focused job areas.

This is about exploring how we grow and acquire skills that will be needed moving forward as jobs change and the required tasks change.

Supporting Career Development with Vodafone Future Jobs Finder

Links to learning resources are included in the tool. This allows individuals to take immediate action and find out how to acquire the new skills needed to take them on a new career path. It also offers links to already available jobs, kick-starting the move to a future role.

For those in the early stage of their career, the tool presents roles that match their interests and current skillset, suggesting how to progress. Individuals can explore the full jobs model if they would like to explore specific roles of interest where they may need significant learning and development. For those in mid-career, the tool identifies jobs that they could move into given their skills and experiences, or what is possible with a little upskilling.

In short, Vodafone Future Jobs Finder provides the jobseeker or career changer with a clear insight into their readiness for a role in their area of interest, based on their current skills. It also highlights the required skills needed for specific future jobs. For the younger person starting out on their career, they get to understand what roles they are most suited to and identify what skills and training they need to accomplish.

We have been delighted to work with the Vodafone team to build this truly innovative tool. Great design, robust tools and actionable insights all combine to help develop the future skills needed and the workforce of the future.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you identify and develop the future skills needed for your organization.

About the Author

Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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