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The coronavirus accelerates the development of our workforce

The coronavirus accelerates the development of our workforce

Staying business relevant - Does your workforce have the digital skills you need to succeed?

The digital age is upon us, changing every aspect of life as we know it. What jobs come to mind first when you think about the technological disruption of traditional roles? Digitisation and automation is not only affecting factory workers in the manufacturing industry, but also those in the service sector, such as accountants and auditors. In fact, accountants and auditors are the second most threatened by automation. Their roles are in danger of becoming obsolete - right after telephony agents in call centres. Upskilling and reskilling are not new terms when it comes to digitalisation and the modern workforce. It has long been known that technology will fundamentally change work as we know it today. This has forced companies to rethink their business models, strategies and job skills in order to remain competitive in the ever-changing technological landscape.

COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation in companies

The OECD predicts that one-third of all global jobs, more than 1 billion, will be transformed by technology over the next decade. This means that more than 1 billion people will need to be retrained and reskilled by 2030. This is a huge challenge in itself, and one that will be exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic. The coronavirus has highlighted the urgent need for companies to rely on technologies already available to maintain normal business operations. For example, cobots (collaborative robots) were used to help keep factories running during the lockdown and also allow workers to return to the factory floor, keeping their distance while monitoring production. There has been a real boom in the use of digital tools such as Google Drive, Sharepoint, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Trello, etc., which enable millions of workers to work from home. According to a survey by PwC, of all CFOs surveyed, half said they expected automation to accelerate. The cost of ignoring automation and digital technologies is now higher than taking these trends seriously. All the more so as there is still no end in sight and it is largely unclear how the situation will develop.

New skills needed - but which ones?

In 2016, the WEF published its top 10 skills needed for success in the labour market in 2020, showing a strong shift towards soft skills and the growing importance of creativity and empathy. A combination of hard and soft skills is required for a well-trained employee and forms the basis for the success of a modern company. Employees are also more likely to retrain and upskill to ensure job stability, especially those who have been unable to work for a long period of time during the lockout period. Jobs will certainly be designed to be done from the home office and employees will need to be digitally empowered.

Home office and digital learning become key success factors

While flexible working hours and home office already applied to some companies and start-ups, COVID-19 forced everyone to switch full-time to home office where possible. This has lasting implications for infrastructure strategy, which is already budgeting for fewer jobs. Siemens and Novartis are among the first companies to announce that they will allow their employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. For this to happen, certain digital skills need to be in place to reduce IT support issues, and job descriptions have changed to allow this flexibility. While schools and universities in Europe are reopening with social distancing measures and, in the meantime, have promisingly low, stable new infections, other countries remain uncertain about when previous classes can resume. Educational technology has made it possible to continue teaching and training during the pandemic, and the results have shown that digital education has a bright future. However, there is still a long way to go. Teachers and professors need to be trained in digital didactics and be shown the best digital tools to redesign their curricula.

Digital Reskilling and Upskilling Academy by MaxBrain

Retraining your staff may seem like an intimidating task. But there are already mature offerings of digital training concepts and platforms. At MaxBrain, we've compiled the best courses your employees need to grow and support your business. The Digital Upskilling Academy, powered by MaxBrain, offers a simple and user-friendly platform and is developed with courses from strong training partners such as ELUCYDATE and Digicomp. The Academy combines e-learning with selected face-to-face courses (which can also be delivered virtually). The further education programme offers everything your employees need to be equipped for future tasks. Our consultants are happy to help you find the right course offerings for your employees to transform their skills with a platform that can be customised to your business and ready to go within a week. As Jeff Bezos says, "dangerous is not evolving", and this applies to society, business models and people.

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