Being an HR and Learning and Development specialist, I am really amazed by the velocity of the disruption that we are now facing in the world of work and its consequences on the new skills that are needed. Automation, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, mass calculation, e-commerce powered by massive data insights are now shaping a new context for students, employees and customers.

Of course, the impact of this change, especially automation will vary depending on the country’s income level, wage rates, demographics and industry  like the McKinsey Global Institute reminded us.

But one of the key aspect that will influence this digital transition and this strong change in the world of work will be the skills requirement and the ability of our economy and education system to actually provide to workers and students the possibility to reskill themselves to develop the new skills that will be required in this new world of work.

In a report published in November 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute actually present different scenarios for the employment growth, especially because of rising incomes and consumption in emerging economies, aging population that will require new solutions and other factors such as investment in renewable energy. But one point that is absolutely certain is that for the upcoming workforce “the changes in net occupational growth or decline imply that a very large number of people may need to shift occupational categories and learn new skills in the years ahead”.

With the evolution of the demography, and the fact that workers will most likely live longer and therefore work longer, we will need a new model of learning, oriented on developing new skills for students, and reskilling the existing employees that will have to learn new jobs very fast.

To give you a quantitative example of this change, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates “that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world”.

That is why I think that our role as learning and education specialist is to work on creating the best learning environment to facilitate the reskilling of the employees that will need to learn new skills.

The World Economic Forum presented a list of skills that will actually be key by 2020 (let’s say tomorrow!). Some of them are mixing technical and soft skills but most of them are skills that are deeply Human, such as Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Creativity.

That is why I think that the next challenge for the learning and development function will not be only a challenge of tools, but a challenge of model to provide a learning environment that is agile enough to provide employees and students with a place where they will be able to reskill themselves.

To go further, I encourage you to have a look at this recent article from Hessie Jones in Forbes about the Future of Work as well as the well known and excellent report published by the World Economic Forum in 2016. You can also try the interesting tool that Pearson launched to see the skills you may need in 2030 (the list of available jobs looks to be still in development but the results are already great).