The Importance of Soft Skills Training and Accessibility
After a successful country-wide entrepreneurship roadshow with the U.S. Embassy Vienna, we’re finally headed back to Austin!
Working abroad gave us the unique opportunity to speak with international thought leaders about our 3DS programs aimed at workforce development. Among the many organizations we engaged, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) provided some interesting insights about the future of work and importance of soft skills training:
- Adapt to thrive, or be left behind. Every 2–3 years, the World Economic Forum goes through a company-wide reorganization. Why? To practice what they preach about the Fourth Industrial Revolution fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. They know that as the world changes, they must too (as well as the rest of us for that matter if all people and companies want to thrive in the future). Although mastery is important in any industry, now more than ever adaptability, or learnability as some like to call it, is just as necessary.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills. Recently, LinkedIn released its new skills gap data from its Economic Graph, a digital representation of the global economy. Jacqui Barrett, Economic Researcher at LinkedIn, explains that the data shows there is an obvious gap in technical skills, but, surprisingly, soft skills are in equally high demand and facing the largest scarcity in the U.S. The WEF and UN project this trend to continue worldwide, which is why both organizations emphasize the importance of soft skill development to increase people’s job security and future employability.
- Accessibility to opportunities leads to equity and inclusion. Alice Charles, Cities and Urban Development Lead at the WEF, mentions Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, as a great example of how increasing accessibility positively impacted its community. Unemployment plagued disadvantaged populations living in the mountainside of Medellín. It wasn’t until the city built the world’s first modern urban aerial cable car transport system in response to significant spatial inequalities that violence dropped and employment opportunities dramatically increased. Breaking down barriers to access by utilizing systems thinking is essential to address the root causes of problems. In Medellín, any workforce development program for the mountainside community would have been ineffective if people could not access the trainings.
Motivated by conversations with the WEF and UN, we are excited about the direction of 3DS’ new workforce development programs that focus on soft skill development and accessibility for those who need it most. It is our goal to launch a new 3DS workforce development program by the end of 2018! Want to help? If so, reach out to email@example.com. Let’s connect and increase our impact together.