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6 Future Skills You Should Learn Now

Updated: Jan 2


The world is now going through the Fourth Industrial Revolution; if you do not want to be replaced by artificial intelligence and robotic arms, then you need to prepare yourself for the future. According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2018, the most important skills an employee needs to learn, in order of importance, are leadership, communication and teamwork. These are also the future skills that we have heard a lot in recent years.


New Skills for New Times


The Future of Jobs Report 2020 pointed out that machines and automation would eliminate 85 million jobs. Yet, 97 million new jobs would also be created. The report further stated that there would be a new division of labour between humans and machines. Computers would take up data processing, administrative tasks as well as the daily work of white and blue-collar workers. This means that in the future employers would have to provide lots of retraining and upskilling so that employees are equipped with the skills they need to co-exist with machines in the era of artificial intelligence (AI).


Futurework — Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st century, published by the US Department of Labor, stated that “65% of today’s grade school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet.” This suggests the importance of learning future skills, but does it mean that we have to become jacks of all trades?


Essential Digital and Soft Skills


The isolation foisted upon us by COVID-19 turned out to be an important catalyst for global digitisation. As early as 2016, the World Economic Forum already suggested that the Fourth Industrial Revolution had arrived quietly, and the world would soon be ushered into the era of human and machine coexistence. Yet, the present education model is a product of the First Industrial Revolution — it nurtures the younger generation through large-scale learning and standardisation. Under this traditional model, workplace rookies are frequently criticised for lack of character and having inadequate thinking capacity and insufficient creativity.


The dawn of the AI era means that there will be constant change in employability skills in the future. The next generation must possess outstanding digital and soft skills in order to realise the potential of new technology. As such, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) initiates the HSBC Future Skills Development Project, focusing on six elements — digital competency, innovation, life planning, communication, wellness management and resilience — to look into the general direction of the future of skills.


To advance future silks through these six elements and to expand youth’s insight into the future, the HKFYG has rolled out multiple programmes and activities. Through the visualisation and maximisation of the education experience, students can immerse themselves in this all-round education. Some of the activities are open for group participation, and schools can seize the opportunity to encourage students to participate.


The publication of this book is to cast a spotlight on the present linkage between the six elements and the future skills. The book has three parts. Part 1 is titled “Current Event” where different future skills-related social phenomena are illustrated by current events. Part 2 is titled “Magic of Education”, and it deals with local and overseas success stories in the nurturing of future skills. Part 3 is titled “Refresher Tips” where it provides practical tips on developing those skills.


There is no end to learning; the six human skills that this book discusses are always applicable everywhere and never replaceable by AI.


The old saying, “a trade-in hand finds gold in every land” is truer than ever — the future skills are your passport to global opportunities.


This book is dedicated to those who are willing to embrace the future.


This article was translated from the original news appeared in Master Insight on July 12. URL: https://bit.ly/3hZv29f

Book name: 6 Future Skills You Should Learn Now

Authors: Marina Watt, Brian Yeung

Publisher: The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

Publication date: July, 2021




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