The first obstacle to meeting the challenge of job creation in commodity producing countries is breaking a mind-set among young people of complacency and engaging them enough to develop the skills needed for the roles of the future, according to a leading social entrepreneur from Colombia.
Juan David Aristizabal is the founder of social enterprise Los Zuper, which uses a mix of media content and live events to inspire young people to equip themselves with the capabilities needed for the future.
At the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this week, Mr Aristizabal will be encouraging the private sector to do more to engage young people – including providing more grants and challenges aimed at developing specific skills. Secondly, he will be saying that young people should be paid more when they start employment, to keep them motivated and engaged once they enter the workforce.
Companies “are not doing enough, they can do more”, he says. “They feel the problem [of finding suitable candidates]. It is a pain for them” which should make the issue a priority, he says.
Mr Aristizabal believes the private sector is looking for solutions and ideas and in particular those that allow companies to take responsibility amid frustrating efforts to persuade governments to tackle the problem of the youth skills gap.
The gap is a result of the workplace being rapidly transformed by what the Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology including automation and the adoption of artificial intelligence.
In September, the Forum said – in a more upbeat assessment than in previous years – that shifting trends in technology will create 58 million extra jobs by 2022 rather than replace humans in the workplace. While 75 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms, 133 million new roles may emerge “that are more adapted to this”. The jobs forecast to be most redundant by 2022 are middle-skilled white collar roles, including data entry, accounting and teller positions; however, there will be increased demand for human resource professionals, data analysts and scientists, software and app developers and social media specialists, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.
For these new jobs to be filled, candidates will require new skills. There have been concerns for some time that traditional education systems around the world are not doing enough to equip young people in time.