As economies continue to address the fallout from COVID-19, research from the G20 network’s Think20 is discovering that the skills of those employed “no longer meet evolving market requirements.”
The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.
To help global economies address the challenges of being prepared for the digital age, the TF6 taskforce of the G20 is offering four key recommendations countries can adopt to utilize AI-based learning including:
- Embracing and regulating industry micro-credentials;
- Accessing government funding for workplace learning in traditional sectors and those working within the platform and gig economies;
- Promoting immersive, interactive AI for skills development as a learning aid and not in replacement of teachers;
- Promoting innovative technical and vocational education training (TVET) institutions with the backing of quality control and licensing bodies.
“It is evident we are on the cusp of a significant global change and areas of reform, such as the reliance on AI, have shifted from being interesting concepts to becoming critical conversations that require urgent attention,” said Heidi Alaskary, co-chair, TF6. “COVID-19 has accelerated those issues that were already prevalent, revealing the varying skill gaps across all generations.
“The older, missing generation of over 35s would traditionally gain skills in one specialty area, with many people remaining on the same career path for life. It is this generation that must develop the agility to diversify their knowledge base and embrace data analysis if we are to ensure no-one is left behind.
“The youth generation, on the other hand, will have, on average, twelve discreet job roles throughout their lifetime. While they are technically savvy and well-versed in many of the skills future economies will require, they often lack the required resilience and soft skills the older generations have. It is now the responsibility of governments, industries and citizens to collaborate to humanize the technological process and bring balance to the future way of working.”
Various AI-learning modes were identified by TF6 to bridge the gap and begin to reskill and upskill those across both demographics. Passive, program-based learning is not recommended for those looking to challenge the learner’s powers of concentration. While this method is cost-effective, it has been ranked by TF6 as the least effective. For educational institutions and businesses looking to fully embrace AI and provide the learner with a richer educational experience, a hybrid of human interaction and bespoke digital platform learning are optimal.
“For all generations, the secret to educating the unwilling is to make it a social act, and whether this is in person or via an immersive digital infrastructure will differ from country to country,” explains Paul Grainger, co-director for the Centre for Educations and Work. “However, the danger still prevails that if we don’t address the youth skill gap now, many countries will find themselves falling behind international growth figures as the nature of education and training has a direct impact on a country’s economy.”
TF6 concludes that while cost implications will continue to be a barrier for success for many, a challenge exacerbated by the economic implications of COVID-19, the only way in which countries can affect any long-lasting, significant changes and move comfortably into the future of work is with unified, global cooperation on minimum standards within technical and vocational training.