Interestingly, 69% of employers are struggling to fill jobs globally, and as technological disruption continues to increase, employers are looking for the right mix of technical skills and people strengths.
Moreover, it is worrying that the level of mismatch between demand and supply of jobs around the world still leaves so many gaps to fill, as education systems across the world have developed at a much slower pace. in relation to technology.
However, high-demand skills need to be propelled on the wheels of technology to ensure that the skills demand gap continues to be closed. Also, platforms need to be developed to facilitate access to information and resources with drivers using public-private partnership agreements and doing incredible recruitment for the global space. Such platforms must ensure the centrality of information banks and easy integration with update channels. How can technology reduce the number of jobs, improve the education system that prepares a skilled workforce, and fuel the seamless handshake between the global demand for skills and the local supply?
Education systems are based on seven (7) philosophies, which include essentialism (a set of attributes necessary for their identity), perennialism (values knowledge that transcends time), progressivism (addresses ideas and problems from modernization), social reconstructionism (the quest to create a better society and global democracy), existentialism (emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice), behaviorism (all behaviors are acquired through conditioning, which occurs through interaction with the environment), constructivism (learners construct knowledge), conservatism (commitment to traditional values and ideas) and humanism (to live an ethical life self-fulfillment that aspires to the greater good). All of the above can be richly enhanced through technological tools and platforms that foster connectivity to facilitate sharing and the nourishment it offers to society and the world.
Additionally, the demand for technology-related skills is rapidly changing due to increased globalization and rapid technological change. However, the need for accurate information on existing skills gaps and well-planned information on how the labor market and the demand for skills might change remains essential. Employers need to plan for their immediate and future workforce; young people and workers need to know which skills offer the best job prospects; education service providers and trainers need to adapt their programs while ensuring that they remain relevant; and policy makers must ensure that they institute the necessary changes in education systems, labor markets and migration policy in a timely manner.
The above calls for more entrepreneurs to broaden their vision and horizon, while thinking about how technology is fueling the education system to prepare people for new skills gaps (that continued technological disruption, the covid19 pandemic and globalization have created). The fact that up to 69% of employers struggle to fill jobs calls for a rethink in our approach to global unemployment. There will be more technological influence on everything and the world of working from home has come to stay. This implies that entrepreneurs around the world, including Nigerians, must create systems that effectively host platforms that can engage in solving this crude puzzle.
Moreover, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in one of its publications, entitled – Preventing unemployment and underemployment from becoming structural, we see that in all G20 countries, technological change and globalization have profoundly affected work organization practices and skills. employer requests. The demand for higher-skilled workers has outstripped that of low-skilled workers, with the share of total employment in managerial, technical and professional jobs increasing significantly. These changes are likely to intensify in the face of the continuous process of innovation and diffusion of information and communication technologies and could lead to a further displacement of jobs that involve routine tasks (manual or cognitive). Not all of these changes are entirely predictable in terms of their impact on labor demand, but what is clear is that good information is needed on changing skills needs in order to guide provision and participation in education and training.
Some positive approaches to technology that can reduce the number of unemployed include:
Strategic investment in technology infrastructure: This is very fundamental to maintaining almost every aspect of the work equation, as humans are at the center of both demand and supply, and what could connect people better than technology platforms? Considering Nigeria as a case study, each of the 774 local governments must have a good internet connection, computers and/or tablets and other technology-related support systems. Leveraging the wisdom of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and how he was able to fund and crowdsource materials and teachers for community primary schools; nonprofits can aggregate community donations in their areas of operation to provide support through a technology portal that aids the process of hiring, crowdfunding, and ensures a continuous improvement framework that nurtures every government local. These tools can be used to train and retrain young people on relevant digital skills in demand.
Driving education with technology: This is no longer news with Udemy, Coursera, AfriLearn, Educlaim and several others doing amazing work. What is important at the present time is that the same structures are used by public schools. Education has become wallless today and so much can be learned on an internet connected computer with a course subscription. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but rather extend what works to training and retraining our workforce. Courses must be taken out on the various learning platforms (by businesses and local authorities), and some designated timeshares for co-learning students through these platforms, say Wednesdays and Fridays. Augmenting the 6-3-3-4,5,6 system in this way will better prepare a tech-skilled workforce for the digital future of working (from home, which is the new definition of working around the world ). Humans should be positioned to work in the global space – it’s a digital village where everything is connected to everything else.
Use of mobile devices and app technology: Fighting unemployment with apps that run on mobile phones can create a whole new set of opportunities for people. Existing apps like Mint, Google Fit, Headspace, Duolingo and Amazon can help position people to help others manage their expenses, get physically fit, relax and think more clearly, learn a new language and to become an affiliate or a reseller of products respectively. Additionally, job searching can be done through the use of applications such as LinkedIn, Snagajob, JobAware, Remotely, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Unemployed people could create ATS friendly resumes for such opportunities tailored to each specific job requirement. Some emerging or new professions include digital marketing, transportation services (Uber/Bolt, etc.), cybersecurity (with the growth of global FinTech), artificial intelligence (with machine learning), UI design /UX and mobile application development.
Furthermore, the connected thinking made possible through creative collaborations could also go a long way in combating the threat of unemployment. Non-profit organizations like GIZ and UNDP are doing amazing work with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to reach the teeming young population with relevant practical skills that can lead to a life sustainable for the beneficiaries. Here we see the public and private sector (profit and NGO) at work to address the multi-faceted challenge. Such teamwork should be part of a good labor market information system (LMIS), which can improve the process of matching labor supply and demand (leading to cross-border global handshakes).
Another relevant area for better future job matching is early investment in career education guidance and counselling. So many people have to make major changes in their careers in the future while several others never really recover from the change required because they are not doing what they are really made for (love doing, can be improved, it there is a need for , and someone willing to pay for the same). We need to put our money and time where our mouth is by engaging with people from an early age to harness the power of focus (just like focused light, laser cuts through iron) that enhances professionalism .
To conclude this article, it is pertinent to note that one of the philosophies that universities are built on is that everyone contributes knowledge and no one really takes it away. This implies that the higher education system thrives on a contribution paradigm. We can draw from this premise to position LMIS for continuous improvement (via APIs from different feed inputs – government agencies, non-profits, human resources from local and foreign organizations), while each agency training can start with the end (job in demand) in mind. Moreover, according to the sage who says that any excess should be wasted, we should consciously harness resources from denser areas and redirect them to less dense or completely unavailable areas through technological means to reduce waste. It could start with a commitment to equal opportunity for all, as with the American Dream (where life should be better, richer, and fuller for everyone, with opportunities for everyone based on abilities or accomplishments, and very few barriers). I thank you for your investment of time and remain very open to commitments around sustainable implementation strategies, yours in technology, Olufemi Ariyo.
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