World Economic Forum gives clues about the future of work
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > WEF highlights the importance of upskilling and other disruptive trends

WEF highlights the importance of upskilling and other disruptive trends

by Freya Lucas

February 14, 2024

The latest World Economic Forum (WEF) has underscored the importance of upskilling and development in the wake of various trends that are expected to shake up the world of work.


The WEF, citing multiple discussions during the Forum, reported that upskilling and development will be “key in the coming years to ensure an equitable future of work.”


A number of disruptive trends to the world of work – regardless of sector or industry – were highlighted during the forum, including the continued growth of generative AI, which chief economists predicted will benefit high-income countries, according to the WEF report, citing chief economists.


Generative AI


Generative AI is expected to boost knowledge-heavy industries amid concerns that its continued growth will impact job opportunities.


While previous research has predicted that AI will put nearly 40 per cent of jobs worldwide at risk, additional research has shown that the elimination of jobs would later be offset by the creation of new ones due to technological innovations.


These new jobs born out of innovation will also put employees’ skills into focus, which is another expected trend according to the WEF.


Discussions during the Forum also pointed out that employees also risk losing their jobs to people who know how to use AI, underscoring the importance of upskilling to catch up with latest trends.


Additional trends


The WEF also reported on various trends that the world of work will likely see further this year.


According to the report, more women are expected to enter the workforce as more efforts are initiated to improve access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) across organisations.


“There are 606 million women of working age in the world who are not working because of their unpaid care responsibilities, compared to 40 million men,” Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Moms First, explained in a Forum session on the ‘Workforce Behind the Workforce’.


“Childcare (sic.) pays for itself. When you offer childcare to employees, you get higher worker productivity and lower rates of attrition, and greater rates of retention. We have to look at care as an economic issue that world leaders must actually do something about.”


Other trends identified include; 


  • The importance of transferable skills 
  • The need for managers to innovate and create a workplace environment that “emphasises dynamic human interaction”
  • Growth in digital jobs 
  • An increase in global unemployment


To access other findings from the forum please see here

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