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On test: Skills, summary of findings from HECQO’s skills assessment pilot studies

This Report seeks to understand the current and future impact of key disruptions on employment levels, skill sets and recruitment patterns in different industries and countries. It does so by asking the Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) of today’s largest employers to imagine how jobs in their industry will change up to the year 2020– far enough into the future for many of today’s expected trends and disruptions to have begun taking hold, yet close enough to consider adaptive action today, rather than merely speculate on future risks and opportunities. While only a minority of the world’s global workforce of more than three billion people is directly employed by large and emerging multinational employers, these companies often act as anchors for smaller firms and local entrepreneurship ecosystems. Therefore, in addition to their own significant share of employment, workforce-planning decisions by these firms have the potential to transform local labour markets through indirect employment and by setting the pace for changing skills and occupational requirements. This Report aims to serve as a call to action. While the implications of current disruptions to business models for jobs are far-reaching, even daunting, rapid adjustment to the new reality and its opportunities is possible, provided there is concerted effort by all stakeholders. By evaluating the future labour market from the perspective of some of the world’s largest employers we hope to improve the current stock of knowledge around anticipated skills needs, recruitment patterns and occupational requirements. Furthermore, it is our hope that this knowledge can incentivize and enhance partnerships between governments, educators, training providers, workers and employers in order to better manage the transformative impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on employment, skills and education.