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GEEPS 2018 Report

Five Major Aspects of Navigating Through the Future of Work

Fatima Asad-Said Regional Director Abacus Consulting shared her views on “Navigating the future of work” at the launching ceremony of “Graduate Employability: Employers’ Perception Survey 2018-19” report by Naqeebz Consulting.

Fatima Asad-Said stirred the minds of the audience by reinforcing collective commitment to lifelong learning, thus remaining students. Our commitment to acquiring knowledge should transcend beyond universities and the walls of classrooms. She advised that navigating the future becomes less challenging and daunting when agile learning becomes a priority. In this age of rapid disruption, skill development is a necessity. Based on international research, this navigation can be identified through five main components: globalization, environmental changes, digitization, 4th industrial revolution, and collaboration. Globally, the challenges of natural calamities, conflict and economic uncertainty puts pressure on displacement and puts pressure to rethink how we view the world! Therefore, we need to build a framework that nurtures and allows a more diverse population especially with larger concentration of immigrants. It stands to the reason that pedagogical skills which harness cultural diversity, be introduced into classrooms at all levels of education.

The second aspect is; environmental changes, which the next generation should be especially cognizant. In the current time, we are living in a drastically changing environment and we should accept this reality and work together to build a more sustainable climate.

Third, in personal and professional communication, people exist in a more digitized environment. We have the challenge to build inclusive cultures for the digital natives as well as digital immigrants. The gap of digital literacy between generations must be recognized. Concerted efforts to bridge the differences should be driven by data that assist in transforming the ecosystem.  The academic institutions including certification bodies should strategize to disseminate information and deliver programs that allow all generations to stay relevant.

The fourth component is the 4th industrial revolution, which can be described as presence of Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics, driving the world today. With the advent of machines replacing more mundane and transactional activities, this revolution will require significant focus on skill development to complement formal education for people to stay relevant and productive.

Lastly, the key is ensuring a collaborative and cooperative approach. It stands to the reason that the academia and industry must strengthen its linkages, and in her view, involve parents especially at the school level. This collaboration would be powered by values, upbringing and ethical behaviors that must be weaved into the education process of an individual, which should also promote tolerance and empathy. A proper and robust feedback mechanism would add great value and ensure continuity.

The future is indeed volatile, uncertain and complex, but to survive we must learn to adapt and commit to being agile learners. Promoting skill development at all levels especially rural areas would be one of the ways to stay relevant, and build an inclusive and sustainable environment.

Someone said this beautifully, ‘we must raise our next generation for the time that they were born in’. Therein, it is, also, our responsibility to ensure that we stay human in the digital age.


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