The economy of skills: how it impacts the workforce

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What would happen if skills weighted more than accreditations when hiring someone?

Photo: Bigstock

Worried to learn more about the national workforce, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) conducted a report on how young Canadians can thrive in a labor landscape based on an economy of skills.

In their research, they discovered that the country is going through a period of a quiet crisis: their recent graduates are overqualified, unemployed or not adequately trained for the jobs available and the new generations do not feel prepared to face the works of the future.

However, they are not alone; employers are also under qualified to recruit and develop the necessary skills to increase the competitiveness of their companies in a digital economy.

Similarly, the education system, training workshops, and labor market initiatives are not adequate to prepare young people to transition to the workforce of the 21st century.

To create an economy of skills and help young people to have better job opportunities by transitioning from one job to another, RBC researchers propose to stop basing positions by industry and start grouping by skills.

The conglomerates grouping by RBC are suppliers, facilitators, solvers, doers, crafters, and technicians. Their purpose is to evaluate the application of each cluster in a wide range of jobs and how young people will be able to move from one profession to another by updating a specific set of skills to face the work challenges of the new job.

The two groups with the most significant demand will be the solvers and the suppliers, since around 45% of the workforce will demand at least one employe of these two groups by 2021. Their ability to move from one job to another is what makes them so essential, and they are the groups that will be less vulnerable to automation.

Nevertheless, some transitions between jobs will require more time, money and personal commitment to reskill themselves and each person will have their own work path. For example, not all dental assistants have the desire, or aptitude, to become a graphic designer but the skills needed are similar.

If young Canadians can adapt to a skill-based job market and take advantage of it, they can make unexpected leaps in their careers and adjust to the future of work successfully.

To know the groupings, click here.