Connecting skills supply and demand
Of course, not every worker who is furloughed or loses their job can immediately redeploy to an area where their skills are in demand. In just two weeks after the shutdown began in the US, for example, more than 10 million workers filed unemployment benefit claims. Not all of them would be able to find an opening for their skills and quickly take it up.
However, many third parties have created programs to help available workers find openings appropriate to their skills. The Adecco Group, for example, is working with clients and their staff to help them make the best use of their skills, and Accenture has created a platform that connects companies that are laying-off or furloughing workers with businesses that have hiring needs.
There have been private-public partnerships in some countries too. In France, Opération Mobilisation Emploi, launched by the French Ministry of Labour, pools jobs in essential sectors, such as healthcare, agriculture, transport, logistics, energy, and telecommunications, and has advertised more than 10,000 positions already.
The pandemic has given businesses an opportunity to demonstrate their agility and resilience in the face of a crisis. In cooperation with the public sector, they have provided vital solutions in difficult times. As we adjust to the new normal of the post-COVID world, we may see more emphasis on upskilling and reskilling to provide greater economic flexibility.