Reskilling of workers, the economic impact of COVID-19 on developing countries, why 30% of students are reconsidering their career paths and why you might be missing your commute. These are some of the topics dominating this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. New Study finds 86% of workers demand new skills training from their employers

 

Nearly half of office workers worry they will be out of a job within five years because their skills will be outdated. That’s according to the latest survey carried out by one of the leading Robotic Process Automation software companies, UiPath. The study of 4,500 white-collar workers shows that 86% of workers wish their employer offered reskilling opportunities. 83% say they expect their employer to invest more in enhancing their existing skills, with nearly all of them (96%) identifying digital skills as the most pertinent. The survey was conducted in February and March of this year and across the US, UK, France, Germany, India, and Singapore.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

#2. Developing countries could face severe economic impacts due to slow economic recovery

 

The world economy is emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. Countries like Germany, Japan, and France are among those rebounding the fastest, while Spain and the UK lag behind, Bloomberg news reports. However, economists are concerned that despite the green shoots, the recovery itself may be long, sluggish, and burdened with a legacy of high unemployment and bankruptcies. And not all countries will be hit equally. The World Bank’s latest report on global economic prospects argues that COVID-19 will leave particularly lasting damage to the weaker economies. It will likely lead to lower investment, erosion of human capital, and a retreat from global trade and supply chains. To explain how these challenges will impact the developing world, the prime minister of Pakistan spoke to the World Economic Forum. Here is his message:

#3. Why you might be missing your commute

 

Commuting can be a daunting experience for many, but it turns out there’s more to our daily travels to and back from work than meets the eye. In his latest article, BBC’s Damian Fowler explains that commuting has an essential psychological purpose. It serves as a transitional buffer that helps people shift their minds from the home role to that of their work-related identity, and vice-versa. It also taps into deeper levels of creativity, and with the average commuting time being 38 minutes, most of us use the journey to read a book, listen to a podcast, an audiobook, or relax playing games on our phones. Commuting is, therefore, a part of our routine and functioning, and living without it may be proving more difficult than previously thought. Read more on how to adjust to this new norm here.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

#4. 30% of students are considering changing their career path due to COVID-19

 

A new survey of university students finds that 30% of them are considering changing their career path in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people are reconsidering their options, and are learning how to pivot in times of economic distress. A poll of 2,104 college students and professionals shows that almost two-thirds (64%) of them are planning to take an online course this summer. Furthermore, about a third (30%) are planning to take a gap year, and the majority of those will either work an internship or upskill themselves. According to Caleb Kauffman, CEO and Founder of Remote Internships, “students are taking career development into their own hands by leveraging both old and new models of education – the historical model of the apprenticeship/internship as well as modern online learning alternatives.”

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

#5. EU’s 2020 skills forecast: four in five new jobs will require high-skilled workers

 

Most EU Member States will continue to struggle with issues such as ageing population, increasing use of automation, globalization, and a green transition, concludes the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in its latest report. The study draws conclusions from data collected before the coronavirus pandemic, and thus its short-term predictions may prove too optimistic. However, long-term challenges remain relevant. Among those most pertinent for the coming years, we find the decreasing size of the prime-aged workforce, job polarization, and the fact that four in five new jobs will be in high-skilled occupations. By 2030, the needs for workers with a high level of qualifications will account for over 36% of total employment.

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