News Bureau

 
 
January 24, 2020

Launches of reskilling revolution at WEF

Estimates say we need to reskill one billion people by 2030 and the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched Reskilling Revolution, a multi-stakeholder effort to do just that. The press conference featured representatives from some of the initiative's founding partners: Ivanka Trump, Assistant and Advisor to the US President, Marc Benioff, Chairman and Co-CEO of Salesforce, Peter Hummelgaard, Denmark's Minister for Employment, and Ahmad Belhoul, UAE Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.

Almost twice as many jobs can be created as lost by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But we face a challenge in preparing the workforce for them. This platform will layout exciting ways to tackle it. The World Economic Forum's Saadia Zahidi said the goal of the platform is to build social cohesion and ensure people have pathways to social mobility. The right skills and the right jobs can help.

"We're not necessarily looking at a negative future in terms of jobs, but we are looking at a major shift in terms of the set of skills...and the types of jobs that will exist in the future," she said. "However, what we need is a reskilling revolution if we want to help people get there," she added.

The platform will provide better metrics, better coordination between business initiatives and ensure there are accelerated delivery mechanisms to get us to the goal, hopefully before 2030. The founding countries joining the initiative are Brazil, France, India, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

"This is just the starting point," said Zahidi. Already, the initiative has commitments to reach a quarter billion people. Ivanka Trump said the United States is focused on making sure the "booming economy...works for all Americans."

"With innovation comes opportunity," she said. "But there are industries being created that require new skills and there are industries that are being disrupted. And there are industries that are continuing but the people...require new skills today to do their jobs tomorrow." She highlighted the US commitment to apprenticeship in particular.

The US created a Pledge to America's Workers, "a full-blown movement with over 400 companies signing the pledge to reskill close to 15 million American students and workers," she said. "That's 15 million lives impacted – 15 million families impacted."

The US is creating a National Workforce Strategy with 14 federal agencies to create a blueprint to make learning a lifelong pursuit, from age 0-5, up to post-22. "Capitalism as we know it is dead," said Sales force’s Marc Benioff. "Salesforce is living proof that stakeholder capitalism works."

"When all stakeholders are included, business becomes this great platform for change," he said. "One of these key stakeholders in the global workforce." "No one government or sector can solve a challenge as big as this. We need a truly multi-stakeholder approach," he added.

Salesforce has committed to up-skill half a million US workers. The company has spent more than $10 million to ensure equal pay and is providing grants to education and workforce development organizations and public schools. Peter Hummelgaard, Minister for Employment, Ministry of Employment of Denmark, said if we want a strong society, we need to invest in our workforce.

Ahmad Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills of the United Arab Emirates noted the UAE's focus on education to ensure the students of today are employed tomorrow. "Our pledge here is a global pledge, but it's one that's more inclusive that will also include other countries within the region," he added.

"We need to find a way to crack the code on how we motivate workers already in the workforce to get upskilled," said Hummelgaard. We must also think about "skills-based learning as opposed to credentials," said Trump. "Employers care about the skills."