Meeting Current And Future Skills Needs
New technologies have changed how we live and work, and government, corporates and individuals are all trying to find their own paths through the changes the 4thIndustrial Revolution (4IR) is bringing.
From initiatives such as broad re-skilling programmes for current staff to technology training programmes, an increasing number of organisations have made skills development a priority. However, while companies are trying to navigate the technology-driven demands of the 4IR, the far-reaching consequences of Covid-19 are making themselves felt in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Even before this crisis, many young South Africans had little hope of entering the job market at all, much less holding positions that require an understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other 4IR technologies, says Johan Engelbrecht, Group CEO at Atvance Academy.
“We should not lose sight of the current economic reality in the push towards the future of work. Despite South Africa spending more than 6% of GDP on education, about half of learners drop out before completing high school. Fewer than 5% who start primary school end up with a university qualification. These young people are already struggling to find work, and as the 4IR continues to gain momentum in the wake of the remote working trend Covid-19 forced on us, they will fall further and further behind,” he says.