Preparing tomorrow’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Sustainable Development Goals: 8, 9
- SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
This report suggests ways in which the business community can encourage the growth and development of the future workforce of global youth and recommends best practices.
Millions of young people around the world are unemployed or underemployed, while employers have jobs they cannot fill. It is a challenge partially rooted in the growing mismatch between youths’ skills and employer needs. If unaddressed, the problem will likely intensify as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)— characterized by the marriage of physical assets and digital technologies—transforms society, economies, jobs, and people’s personal lives. The outcomes of this revolution—which is occurring in an environment of unparalleled global connectivity and demographic change—are likely to perpetuate and worsen existing chasms between those who are prepared for 4IR and those who are not. For the 1.8 billion global youth who today are between the ages of 15 and 29, this revolution will significantly shape their roles as the future workers, consumers, and competitors. This report highlights opportunities for the business community to contribute to the development and growth of the future workforce, focusing on suggested best practices to reach and support youth globally.
Many members of the business community are already contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Similar to the UN effort, the goals of this report are to support inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (SDG 4), and help support inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all (SDG 8). This report assesses when and how the employees of tomorrow are preparing for 4IR today, as well as who is responsible for their preparation. It also recognizes that the implications of 4IR vary by geography, gender, socioeconomic status, culture, and development status. Using input from youth, representatives throughout the business community, and nonprofits, think tanks, and academia, the report’s objective is to move past the narrow question of which skills are needed and pursue the broader issue of how the business community can prepare today’s youth for 4IR.