Starting from left: Daniella Foster, Hilton; Sarah Brown, GBC-Education; Asheesh Advani, JA Worldwide; Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank; Adeyemi Babington-Ashaye, World Economic Forum; Nate Hurst, HP; Irina Bokova, UNESCO; Lord Michael Hasting, KPMG; Tim Nourse, Making Cents; Rosalind Hudnell, Intel; Tracy Lovatt, Batten & Co; Fred Dedrick, National Workforce Solutions; Janet Riccio, Omnicom Group; and Jamira Burley, GBC-Education. Photo by Lana Wong/Education Commission.
After launching the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative at last Wednesday’s breakfast event, the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) convened the first meeting of the Youth Skills and Innovation Commission – consisting of a diverse set of experts from the business, government, NGO, development, and youth communities.
The Commission will look at ways to address the growing skills and job gap forming among today’s young people. By 2030, over 2 billion jobs that exist now will have disappeared, replaced by technological changes and shifts in the workplace. With this in mind, the private sector – along with other members of the international community – must prepare the future workforce for an economy that looks much different than that of the current day.
Leading this charge are Sarah Brown, Executive Director of GBC-Education, and Roz Hudnell, Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Affairs at Intel and President of the Intel Foundation; under their leadership, the Commission will work with research partner, RELX Group, to develop recommendations based on surveys, case studies, and periodic briefs to mitigate the problems and complexities of a different economy.
During the meeting, Roz Hudnell put forward the initial question: where should the Commission prioritize it’s early work? Commissioners offered input shaped by their respective experiences, with some emphasizing that the focus should be on closing the skills gap in the developing world and others bringing attention to the importance of shaping policy.
The Commissioners looked at how the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative could approach the role of technology in the workplace, with many expressing the concern that technology can actually create more complex problems for the workforce of tomorrow. The conversation over technology led to a large discussion on teaching problem solving, and the ways that business can work with the private sector, national governments, and cities to implement skills development programs and apprenticeships.
Toward the end of the meeting, Kristalina Georgieva – Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank – offered an important point when saying that, “To talk about the workforce of tomorrow, we need to talk about the work of tomorrow”. As the Commission approaches complex issues such as automation in the workplace, workforce development, and spurring innovation, the youth skills and talent gap will be center stage in the Commission’s conversations leading into 2018.