Investing broadly in the skills of the future for both today’s and tomorrow’s next-generation workforce could add USD 8.3 trillion in increased productivity to the global economy by 2030, the World Economic Forum said.
The Reskilling Revolution initiative, a coalition of 50 CEOs, 25 ministers and 350 organisations committed to realising these gains for their economies, societies and organisations, marked two years of progress at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos on Wednesday.
Their work will benefit over 100 million workers on their journey towards reaching 1 billion people by 2030 with better education, skills an economic opportunity, it said. Global inequities in lifelong learning and childhood education, a pandemic that closed schools and workplaces and rapid technological change are highlighting the need to double down on reskilling, upskilling and the future of learning, the WEF noted.
The Reskilling Revolution initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting in January 2020, is working to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and economic opportunity by 2030. It works together with a growing network of national-level country accelerators launched to date in 12 countries — Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Georgia, Greece, India, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, with knowledge support from Denmark, Finland, Singapore and Switzerland.
“In an era of multiple disruptions to the labour market — the pandemic, supply chain changes, the green transition, technological transformation — the one ‘no regret’ investment all governments and business can make is in education, reskilling and upskilling. It is the best pathway to expanding opportunity, enhancing social mobility and accelerating future growth,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.
Two years into its work, the initiative will expand beyond adult reskilling and upskilling and integrate a focus on education for children and youth. These efforts are being taken forward by a new Education 4.0 Alliance, bringing together 20 leading education organisations at the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022, the WEF said.
A new report prepared under this project showed that investment in the skills of the future for primary and secondary school learners would create an additional USD 489 billion in Europe, USD 458 billion in South Asia, USD 333 billion in East Asia, USD 332 billion in Latin America, USD 266 billion in the Middle East, USD 235 billion in North America, USD 179 billion in sub-Saharan Africa, and USD 163 billion in Central Asia.
China, US, Brazil, Mexico and Italy are the five countries standing to gain the most, while the benefits relative to the size of their economies today would be greatest in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.