Today, Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO, participated in the WEF panel session "Solving the Employment Equation," which focused on how to reduce structural unemployment and address the skills mismatch to meet both present and future demand for talent. Topics explored by the panel included unleashing the potential of new and traditional sectors to drive employment, and how to create an environment where entrepreneurship can flourish and create jobs.
Technological advances and an ever changing business environment means that lifelong learning and skills development need to become a priority to ensure the talent pipeline is sustainable. The World Bank reports that 600 million new jobs will need to be created worldwide as the workforce grows. Increased demand in certain sectors, such as IT, will generate large numbers of these roles, therefore skills development must align with growth. This requires a shift in thinking from businesses, education institutes, and government, from short term skills improvements to playing for the long term.
According to ManpowerGroup's 2013 Talent Shortage Survey, employers in IT and manufacturing reported a shortage of workers with the necessary technical skills. Collaboration is needed to reduce this talent mismatch, ensuring young people gain sought-after skills, and businesses have access to the talent they need. To do this, organizations must work with education institutions to develop training programs that are aligned with business needs.
"Companies today are waiting to see sustained demand before they hire, achieving growth through productivity and efficiency. They are much leaner than in previous years, capitalizing on new technology and growing exponentially with a small team of highly skilled workers. This is a seismic shift in how we do business. A new, forward-looking, strategic approach from all stakeholders is necessary to successfully build a sustainable career for individuals and an effective talent pipeline for companies," Joerres said.