When it comes to the future of work, the “future” just isn’t what it used to be, and neither is the “work”.
According to the Royal Bank of Canada, 50 per cent of occupations in Canada will undergo a significant skills overhaul by 2028. “An assessment of 20,000 skills rankings across 300 occupations and 2.4 million expected job openings shows an increasing demand for foundational skills such as critical thinking, co-ordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem solving,” says its report, The Coming Skills Revolution in Canada.”
At the same time, a recent McKinsey & Company’s Global Institute Report finds that 62 per cent of executives say their staff will need to be retrained due to automation: “By 2030, as many as 375 million worker – or roughly 14 percent of the global workforce – may need to switch occupational categories as digitization, automation, and advances in artificial intelligence disrupt the world of work.”
Also consider that while 57 per cent per cent of leaders value soft skills over hard skills, according to a recent LinkedIn survey, hiring managers have identified challenges in finding candidates who fit the bill.
What’s more, COVID-19 has drastically accelerated the trends that underpin the future of work. By May 2020, nearly 3 million Canadians were out of work due to the pandemic, with the national unemployment rate rising above 13 per cent. Economists predict that many of these jobs will never return, as employers invest in new technologies to perform work previously done by people.
But if the problems are real, Planet Hatch feels strongly that entrepreneurship centres have a role to play in crafting the solutions. This centre – which is attached to Ignite, Fredericton’s economic development organization – already develops for entrepreneurs those very skills that employers, across all industries, seek in their new hires; skills that will arm their organizations against technological disruption.
In November 2019, Planet Hatch began to create a training program addressing the need for Future of Work skills. The program’s objective is to future-proof the Canadian labour market by offering targeted skills training combined with experiential and self-directed learning.
“Machines still can’t think like human beings,” says Planet Hatch Director Adam Peabody. “They can’t replace critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, situational judgement, and emotional intelligence. These are entrepreneurial skills, and in the future, jobs will require individuals with these skills.” •