Technology has advanced to significantly affect society, environment and the economy as a whole, inclusive of the job market.
Even as the world begins a new digitally connected post-information age, the demand for skills continues to shift as technology advances apace, more innovations evolve, leading to skills mismatch.
A new report published by global management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG), WorldSkills Russia and energy company Rosatom has revealed that South Africa, classified as a labor workforce exporter, has a skills mismatch of over 50 percent and the lowest productivity.
The research evaluated the conditions influencing the skills mismatch in around 30 countries including the US, India, Russia and South Africa and further identified new ways for governments and employers to address the growing skills crisis and boost economies.
The report showed that skills mismatch now affects over 50 percent of employers. By 2030, the study predicted that 1.4 billion workers will lack the right skills for their jobs. Further, a third of all existing professions are expected to change by 2035 with the expansion of IT, AI and robots.
The report, Mission Talent– Mass Uniqueness: A Global Challenge for One Billion Workers discovered that embracing a more human-centric approach in skills development can boost GDP growth by up to 2 percent.
To help tackle the skills mismatch, the research authors recommended educational and training programs be introduced in co-operation with employers. In a move to ensure employee motivation, the report advocated the promotion of personal development benefits as well as the establishment of a policy of incentives.
The persistent challenge of skills mismatch in the labour market has contributed to the current unemployment crisis in the country at the southernmost tip of Africa. Statistics SA reported the unemployment rate rose to 29 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the highest level recorded in 11 years.
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