WGS-PwC report: Governments have a unique opportunity to transform the labor market in the wake of the devastation caused by COVID-19

DUBAI, 5th June, 2022 (WAM) — Governments around the world have a “golden opportunity” to create new jobs in the wake of the influenza A (COVID-19) pandemic, which has led to profound changes in the way business is done of work and accelerated the emergence and development of new branches of the economy.

That’s according to a new report released by the World Government Summit Organization (WGS) in partnership with PwC Middle East, which details the devastation the pandemic has wreaked on global jobs, including the loss of millions of jobs and 8 .8% of the total number of hours worked worldwide, giving way to new opportunities to “unleash the skills economy”.

The report “Unleashing the Skills Economy: How Governments Can Turn Labor Market Threats into Opportunities in the Digital and Green Age” notes that “estimates thanks to the twin shifts – and towards a greener and more digital economy” suggest that around 30% of jobs are at significant risk of automation and that this risk can be much higher in some countries”.

The report estimates that “applying digital solutions and artificial intelligence for the green transformation of the global economy can bring in up to $5.2 trillion by 2030 while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 4%.

The report also notes that “progress in improving skills remains slow and fails to reach broad sections of society,” and suggests that “once the current skills gaps are closed, productivity gains will transform the global economy by 2030 at least $6.5 trillion – and more benefits are expected as the skilled workforce continues to drive more innovation.”

Commenting on the report’s release, Deputy Director-General of the World Organization of Government Summits, Mohamed Youssef Al Sharhan, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought about profound changes, the effects of which are still visible in the global economy. , as well as in patterns and types of work and concepts of economic value creation. These impacts have changed our perception of jobs and their role in securing supply chains and making nutrition, health and safety a reality.

Al Sharhan added: “The World Government Summits Organization is a knowledge platform focused on international issues affecting governments, providing policymakers with studies and research that help shape a knowledge-based future that creates new types of sustainable jobs can be produced depending on the next phase of the economy.”

Randa Bahsoun, Government and Public Sector Partner and Head of Labour, Employment and Skills at PwC Middle East, said: “The jobs and opportunities created by the partnering green and digital transitions will require new skills that people need adapt to work alongside digital technologies. Skills represent the common denominator of the new sectors emerging from these two transitions. Countries that develop their “skills economy” faster, where people and technology complement each other to innovate, will have a competitive advantage and be able to do so be a better chance to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.”

She added: “Collective action is required to bring about effective and lasting change. Unifying governments behind skills-based visions of business and pioneering new ways of governance, while challenging, is certainly doable.”

The skills economy: governments have a golden opportunity The report suggests that policymakers have a golden opportunity to bring about the skills economy, “which will allow citizens to develop their skills thanks to a well-functioning labor market and more accessible Training systems that companies have to improve are the right tools to invest in innovative sectors”.

Noting the potential of “skills (or supply) strategies to increase the supply of skilled labor,” the report advises governments to “stretch skills strategies through warnings, incentives, financial support, or legal and regulatory requirements (such as accountability for the skills gap ) to improve qualifications”.

She also called for “reducing information asymmetries and coordinating interventions by facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors, enabling employers to signal skill needs and training service providers to respond to those signals”. .

How can governments unleash the skills economy? The report highlighted governments’ ability to “play a transformative role in tackling supply-demand mismatches through skills and industrial policies”. He goes on to explain that governments can play an active role in many areas: first, by defining and disseminating a vision of economic development based on skills and lifelong learning, and second, by activating that vision.

The report recommends “the development of a skills-based vision of the economy” and states that “the development of a skills-based economy, in which the talents of people are used together with technology to achieve more sustainable prosperity, also encompasses policy issues that Going beyond the narrow framework of qualifications must be linked to good employment opportunities by integrating skills development into broader development strategies (e.g. industrial development, local economic development, youth employment).”

The report emphasized the importance of government leaders creating resilient and collaborative environments to have the right skills and institutional support needed to deploy effectively. In addition, he emphasized the importance of adopting the principles of agile governance, such as working collaboratively.”

Translated by: Gihane Fawzi.


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