Why we must give young people today the skills they will need tomorrow

"Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies." -- Kofi Annan

In some countries 80% of the jobs young people are being prepared for may not exist when they graduate and Uupp to half of the world’s jobs –  around two billion –  are at high risk of disappearing due to automation in the coming decades. 

That will radically alter the demand for skills.

On current trends, half of the world's children - more than 800 million of them - will leave school without the skills needed to find a job in 2030. 

That will have huge implications for countries, communities and families.  

The way we work - as well as live and relate to other people - is fundamentally changing, according to Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

In his influential book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, he says new technologies will impact every aspect of our lives.

"The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril," he writes in the introduction. 

Schwab says the world has the chance to connect billions of people, dramatically improve the efficiency of organisations and manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the natural environment.

On the other hand, organisations might not adapt, governments could fail to employ and regulate new technologies, inequality could grow and societies fragment.

At Skillit, we are committed to working alongside others to close the global youth skills gap and provide young people with the skills needed to solve the problems they and their communities face. By donating back 1% of our revenue to buy skills from our Makers to donate to young people who otherwise might not have access, we are creating a world of youth who are ready for the future. 

We believes that every young adult should have access to skills development and as the world changes at breakneck speed, the need for young people to acquire the skills today for the workplace of tomorrow is absolutely vital.

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Skill Sharing is a gift that keeps giving

Learning to give rather than get is hard in our society, which tends puts emphasis on material things. 

Gift giving is more than presents. When we learn life skills and teach them to our children, they are better equipped to give of themselves, to be better, to grow, to learn, to teach, to be successful.

Set the table, make a gourmet dinner, change a tire, do your taxes are some of the life skills you  can give. Skillit offers an easy and fun way to learn everything you need to know to be your most confident and in the meantime gain an experience… and a memory.

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8 Practical Skills Young People need for the Future.

As traditional business models and industries continue to be disrupted by globalization, automation and digital technology, here are 8 practical skills that young people will need for the future to ensure their place in our new economies. 

  1. Problem Solving
  2. Communication - oral/written
  3. Continuous learning
  4. Time Management
  5. Teamwork/Collaboration  
  6. Agility & adaptability 
  7. Initiative 
  8. Accessing, researching and analyzing information 

Employers are seeking out those young individuals who possess the skills and abilities to add value to the existing workplace and fill gaps that exist. Quite often, the defining skills for job success are not “hard/ technical”  skills but rather “soft/life” skills.  

While technical proficiency will always remain an obvious and evolving need, skills such as problem solving, collaborating, showing initiative, agility ,teamwork, effective communication and continuous learning are all linked to improved corporate performance and the nurturing of an entrepreneurial culture/mindset. In addition, youth who proficiently utilize current digital technology to  rapidly access, research and analyze information will be seen as an asset; aiding in the development of corporate resiliency. 

According to the World Economic Forum in 2020, “Almost twice as many jobs can be created than lost by the Fourth Industrial Revolution – if people have the skills to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Skillit Forward aims to capitalize on this opportunity by linking the business world with future generations to provide hard and soft skills to disadvantaged young people aged 18-30years old.

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6 Skills needed for all jobs

Employers are now focusing on soft skills when making hiring decisions as soft skills become very important in the workplace. While technical skills required would be different for each role you apply for, there are skills that can help you succeed in all roles no matter what your technical background is.

The following is a list of skills that will help you be successful in any job.

1.       Communication : 

No matter what your job title is, communication skills whether it is written, spoken or non-verbal are one of the most important skills required within the workplace. This skill requires more than just having the ability to speak or write well. Being a good communicator means being able to adapt your message according to their targeted audience, articulate your ideas and genuinely listen to other people. Effective communication allows you to process information well and transmit it in a simple, clear, and efficient manner and extract clear expectations from your stakeholders which helps in improving your performance and deliver work that meets expectations.

2.   Teamwork: 

A company’s success is rarely dependent on the contributions of one person but the result of many people working towards a common goal. Trusting others, working together to give and accept ideas, utilizing each person’s strengths are examples of successful demonstration of teamwork.

3.   Agility: 

Today’s workplaces became unpredictable, with the rapid advance in technology and the rapidly evolving global markets. And due to all these changes, employers are expecting employees to be agile and embrace the environment around you easily.  Agility allows you to embrace complexity around you, keep an open mind and stay curious. Recruiters are looking for employees who are able to adapt to the fast changes happening in the world and keep their organization current. This skill helps a person cope with any changes and have willingness to accept new challenges at the workplace.

4.  Leadership: 

Leadership is not simply being the manager or having direct reports. Being a leader is having a combination of different soft skills such as inspiring others, the ability to influence, motivate and inspire others towards the completion of a task or goal.  

5.   Problems solving: 

Knowing how to analyze problems, handling difficult situations and working towards solutions is a critical skill in the workplace. This skill also includes critical thinking, decision-making, and the willingness to ask questions and explore new ideas that can help advance the organization

6.       Empathy: 

Empathy is listening actively and positively to the other person, without judgment, and understanding the other person's emotions and feelings. In other words, it is the ability to put oneself in the place of others to understand how they think and feel. Today, empathy is considered to be one of the most important interpersonal skills you can have as an employee.

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Why you need to build your soft skills

For so long hiring processes have focused on solid credentials to hire candidates, a degree, work experience, and professional references. But in today's world, where automation and artificial intelligence is dramatically changing the nature of work, we need to develop the social and emotional abilities machines cannot master. 

Technical skills are no longer considered sufficient to determine one’s employability and staying power. It is the soft skills that will help you perform and deliver the expected results. The modern workplace is more interpersonal and requires employees to have skills such as communication, collaboration, building solid professional relationships, and navigating challenges that arise on the job in order to succeed.

Today, recruiters are putting more weight on soft skills when making hiring decisions. A recent study by LinkedIn found that almost 60% of hiring managers in the U.S. struggle to find candidates with the required soft skills. A study by Deloitte Access Economics, predicted that two-thirds of all jobs in Australia will rely on soft skills by 2030. This trend will inevitably be mirrored globally.

The good news is that developing soft skills in the workplace is possible and with training and skilling up, you can outperform peers during interviews.

Mentors on Skillit.com can help you develop the skills required for you to thrive personally and in any work environment.

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