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Future of Work series: Part 2 - Sure Ways to Prepare for Talent Shortage

In previous blogs, we discussed the potential negative impact of talent shortages in technology and other specialized areas, and the potential unemployment in other sectors resulting from robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. In my recent blog, I started to share some ideas of how companies, bankers, and entrepreneurs can help in preparing and mitigating some of this impact.

In this blog, I will explore what others can do to help the situation.

D) Education Institutions

Education Institutions, (schools for short), as a group will arguably carry as high a burden as private companies. As the flag carriers for education in general, they are responsible to educate people so they have the right skills for the market demand. In recent decades technology has evolved quickly, and the demand for newer skills has sky-rocketed. During this period, schools tried to keep up with the demand but have been lagging significantly. Schools need to make significant changes and focus on this topic to keep up with the demand.

Here are some of the actions these institutions must take:

1. They need to evolve quickly to add courses and programs that teach the skills of the future.

2. The institutions must evolve their teaching methods and modify their curriculums to meet the rapidly growing demand.

3. Add shorter school programs, such as 2-year programs or single-focus programs.

4. Expand vocational and specialized training.

5. Embrace technology to expand their reach and effectiveness.

6. Locate training facilities in markets that are facing significant job shrinkage to help cross train affected employees on new skills.

E) Parents and Counselors

Educating young adults on proper career choices has always been an important role of good parenthood. It has now become much more critical as the future of the job market becomes more fluid, with some careers disappearing and others getting introduced regularly. In such an environment parents and counselors must work harder to guide children.

Here are some suggested actions for parents and counselors:

1. Research and learn how the job market will evolve, what careers are on the decline, and what new careers are expected to grow.

2. Invest in training kids in new-era skills, (mainly technology), renewable energy, and other newly introduced industries.

a) STEAM orientation is highly advisable as most new careers will require a STEAM background. Parents and Counselors need to start career conversations earlier.

3. Parents and Counselors need to start career conversations earlier.

F) Non-profit organizations

Non-profit organizations need to play a role in helping educate people on the need to act fast to mitigate the negative impacts of the trends above.

Here are examples of what non-profits can do, with minor increase in their cost, or change to their mission:

1. Invest in programs that will educate their constituency on the pending market situation and how to deal with it.

2. Support programs that help parents and kids better prepare for the future.

3. Support educational institutions that take the right steps to solve problems.

4. Support public policies that help in addressing this urgency.

5. Expand training offerings to cover the new skills that are in high demand.

G) Employees and Individuals

Employees will bear the brunt of the market changes and need to take responsibility for their future, and start taking action to help prepare.

Here is how you can prepare yourself for the change that’s coming:

1. Make sure you are not a one-skill, one-company person. Diversify your career.

2. Become as agile as possible.

3. Pursue continuing education, always.

4. Stay tuned to changes in your career, and be prepared with plan B.

H) Governments

Government holds the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. The impending work-related issues may cause significant economic and societal challenges if not addressed properly.

Some of the actions the government should take are:

1. Provide incentives, (tax, legal, financial, and others), to entities that are working to address the issues such as:

a. Companies that provide cross training of employees

b. Companies that implement, hire, then train programs

c. Educational institutions that help cross train people

2. Provide educational support to people transitioning from shrinking industries to help them learn new skills in growing industries.

3. Introduce legislation that helps society move in the right direction.


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