In the next three years, about 120 million workers in the world’s 12 largest economies will likely need to be retrained as a result of AI and intelligent automation, according to a new IBM study.
Just two in five CEOs surveyed said they currently have the people, skills and resources required to execute their business strategies.
All that job retraining won’t come easy
The same study found the average time it takes to close a skills gap has increased 12-fold — from just three days on average in 2012 to a full 36 days last year!
The study, called The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap, showed that new skills requirements are rapidly emerging, while other skills are becoming obsolete.
For instance, in 2016 CEOs ranked core capabilities for STEM and basic computer and software/application skills as the top two most critical skills for employees.
In 2018, the top two skills sought were behavioral — the willingness to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change; and the ability to prioritize.
“Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies,” said Amy Wright, Managing Partner, IBM Talent & Transformation, IBM. Half of CEOs recognize “they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps,” Wright said.
The core recommendation is to take a holistic approach to closing the skills gap through:
- peer-to-peer learning through agile teams and cross-training
- hands-on practice served up in the flow of work, and
- traditional classroom and online learning.
The study stressed the critical role HR must play in helping to develop dynamic and flexible teams to enable the ongoing reinvention of work and skills.