Learning New Skills Now can help unlock advantages in the digital economy. As the nature of work evolves, employees and entrepreneurs will need to adapt their mix of skills and knowledge26 to embrace new challenges and stay relevant.27 In addition to a big data analysis of in-demand skill trends, a review of skill frameworks and a landscape scan of 1,000 workforce development programs, we interviewed experts from a wide variety of fields, from neuroscience and corporate learning to education and workforce development. We then used their insights to help identify and categorize both the universal skill families and the underlying cognitive capabilities needed for inclusion in the digital economy. We call the resulting taxonomy ‘New Skills Now,’ and the six skills families that underpin it are: Learn to Earn, Build Tech Know-How, Apply We’Q, Create and Solve, Cultivate a Growth Mindset and Specialize for Work (Figure 4).
Developed in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Employment and a cross-sector consortium of nonprofit partners and corporations, Emplea+ is an e-learning solution that helps marginalized individuals develop key competencies needed for success in the digital economy. To date, more than 150,000 beneficiaries across Europe, Asia and Latin America have used Emplea+ to improve their employability, with more than 100,000 reporting significant gains in their performance and ability level. Accenture has gathered and disseminated learnings through Emplea+ that will inform future workforce development programs, including insights on the value of including skill assessment tools, personalizing curricula and clearly defining the skills required for each job.
Our research and analysis uncovered areas for further development, as well as three core principles that are critical to the successful design and development of New Skills Now programs. MIND THE GAP We conducted a landscape scan of 1,000 workforce development programs to identify existing models that embody New Skills Now and to understand where gaps exist (Figure 10). We also compared the skills family emphasized by each intervention to the life stage that each intervention focused on: New Learners, Preparing for Work, New Beginnings and Adventures and Continuous Learners.
Our research revealed that there is an opportunity to develop and support additional interventions for workers at later stages in their careers (New Beginnings and Adventures, as well as Continuous Learners) who may be vulnerable to displacement as the economy changes. Fifty-eight percent of the workforce development programs we assessed focused on early intervention, while 42% focused on individuals in later life stages. There is also a significant opportunity and need for workforce development programs to focus on cultivating a growth mindset. Less than 1% of the interventions we assessed focused on this skills family, despite its importance for navigating rapid technology change.