The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) recent publication ‘The Future of Jobs’ has identified digital skills as one of the key areas of growth in the coming years.
While digital skills have also been termed as the key to the ‘jobs of tomorrow’, e-commerce and digital trade have also emerged as the top priority for the adoption of technology by companies in Pakistan.
The Future of Jobs survey is based on the projections of the senior business leaders (typically Chief Human Resource Officers and Chief Strategy Officers) representing nearly 300 global companies that collectively employ 8 million workers.
It presents the workforce planning and quantitative projections of the chief human resource and strategy officers through to 2025 while drawing on the expertise of a wide range of World Economic Forum executives and expert communities.
The publication said that 91 percent of the companies have identified digital skills as the most essential skill set required in the next five years. Additionally, big data analytics and cloud computing have emerged as the second-most and third-most desired digital skills respectively.
While online learning and training are on the rise, they fare differently for those in employment and the unemployed. The report highlights a four-fold increase in the number of individuals seeking opportunities for learning online on their own, a five-fold increase in the employer provision of online learning opportunities to their workers, and a nine-fold enrolment increase of learners accessing online learning through government programs.
Employed individuals are placing a larger emphasis on personal development courses that have had a growth of 88 percent among that population. Conversely, unemployed individuals have placed greater emphasis on learning digital skills in e-commerce, digital trade, data analysis, computer science, and information technology.
As per the understanding signed between Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the World Economic Forum, and Extreme Commerce, the quality of the training will be benchmarked, and new opportunities will be created for e-commerce and digital trade in Pakistan.
Extreme Commerce is offering more than 50 e-commerce and digital skills courses in Pakistan with an emphasis on specialized training in digital trade via international platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba, etc.
Extreme Commerce has introduced more than 500,000 individuals to the global e-commerce opportunity through its platforms over the last three years.
Regarding the signing of this partnership, the Founder of Extreme Commerce, Sunny Ali said, “We have a commitment to empowering our youth with tools and knowledge so they can champion and to create the businesses of tomorrow. This will not only generate livelihood for our youth but will also develop an ecosystem for e-commerce and digital trade to thrive in the country”.
He added, “We have set a benchmark for Pakistan to train one million people in more than 50 digital-skills, with a special focus on e-commerce and digital trade-related training”.
Mishal Pakistan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amir Jahangir remarked, “The future of work has already arrived for a large majority of the online white-collar workforce”.
He said, “Eighty-four percent of employers globally are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work, with the potential to move 44 percent of their workforce to operate remotely”.
“To address the concerns about productivity and well-being, about one-third of all employers are expected to also take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among employees through digital tools, skills, and to tackle the well-being challenges posed by the shift to remote work,” he explained.
Companies estimate that on average, around 40 percent of the workers will require a re-skilling of six months or less, and 94 percent of the business leaders reported that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp uptake from 65 percent in 2018.
In its third edition, the report maps the jobs and skills of the future and tracks the pace of change. It also aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions in 2020 contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs, and skills in the next five years.