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16 December 2020

Join the "Future Skills 2.0" discussion on 17 December

This week WorldSkills Russia and the Global Education Futures will present the results of the study "Future Skills 2.0 for the 2020s: A New Hope".

The study, "Future Skills 2.0 for the 2020s: A New Hope", was conducted by WorldSkills Russia jointly with Global Education Futures with the support of WorldSkills International. 

Join the session 17 December, 12:00 GMT at on YouTube or the WorldSkills Facebook page and learn more about the study

The main objective of this study was to identify future technologies and business models that would shape the demand for skills in the next decade, as well as to identify skills most needed by a number of economic sectors.

"This year, when the world has faced the challenges of the pandemic, it has become clear that all our knowledge and understanding of how the labour market will change needs updating. COVID-19 has largely accelerated the trends observed before – we have analysed them in an interesting large-scale study of seven economic sectors with the help of hundreds of experts. We have received unique insight and knowledge that we want to share with international experts, companies and educational institutions, our colleagues in the field of vocational education. We would like to discuss with them how we can apply these unique findings next year," said Ekaterina Loshkareva, WorldSkills Russia R&D Director.

The study included a large-scale survey and 17 foresight sessions. In total, it involved nearly 800 experts from various industries.

One of the key findings of the study is that a professional who works in a team and knows how to perform tasks in cooperation with others will be more valuable in the decade to come than a professional working on his own.

Skills enabling a person to become a part of a team, to adapt to it quickly and to be able to work with anyone on a task will be extremely important. Employers will tend to hire or recruit teams that have already worked together. Naturally, multifunctional specialists who are able to deal with different types of tasks and have knowledge in different areas will be valued more than professionals with limited expertise.

"Needless to say, such specialists will also work in new organizations: the digital transformation will affect not only production technologies, but also approaches to management. We already see this revolution. There is an ongoing transition to flexible and often small team-based organizations, a transition to flexible contracts and gig-economy: a large number of professionals offer certain services as freelancers using special platforms where businesses hire them. There is an ongoing transition to a new reality where an employee's independence, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think outside the box are encouraged," said Pavel Luksha, founder of the Global Education Futures initiative and Professor of Practice at Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO.

The study also concludes that there will be a transition to green economy around late 2020s-early 2030s. The study sees green economy as planet-friendly solutions meeting economic interests of all parties involved.

Based on these findings, the study has tried to answer the question: how should we modify vocational education in the light of this data?

Firstly, we have to develop online learning, both traditional and using virtual reality and other technologies. Secondly, we need to train professionals of the future: our educational institutions should be able to teach students as teams. At the same time, teachers need to learn how to motivate students and encourage them to become more independent. This can be achieved, among other things, through projects that require cooperation between students and teachers.