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It’s learning. Just not as we know it: How to accelerate skills acquisition in the age of intelligent technologies

[This report suggests that it’s a race between education and technology. As intelligent systems and machines reshape the nature of work, people will need entirely new skillsets. But the very skills that are growing in importance are not taught in classrooms. They are acquired through practice and experience, often over long periods of time. Some large corporations are experimenting with new lifelong learning methods, but traditional education and learning systems are ineffective and inappropriate for the new skills challenge. For this report, we look through the lens of the future worker – from the shop floor to the boardroom, from the shop front to the back office – and we identify their evolving skills demand. We analyze the changing importance of skills to different roles and the impact of intelligent technologies. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this is not about technological skills. It is about cultivating the full range of skills, from the creative to the complex cognitive capabilities that the future workforce will need. Our diagnosis: current education and corporate learning systems are not equipped to address the coming revolution in skills demand. The challenge is especially urgent for roles that are more vulnerable to dislocation through intelligent automation. The impact is uneven across economies and industries, demanding targeted interventions.