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The Workforce Of The Future: The Skills Challenge Becomes More Apparent

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Few business topics seem to receive more media attention than talent and, in particular, preparing talent to be the workforce of the future. So it was surprising when we surveyed CXOs around the globe last year about their “readiness” for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including the changes it would bring to the workplace, that executives were not regularly discussing talent issues. In fact, talent was last among 12 choices of topics CXOs said their companies discussed most frequently.

At the same time, 86 percent of those surveyed said their organizations were doing “everything they could to create a workforce prepared for Industry 4.0.” With all the changes occurring in the talent and skills space, it seemed that executives perhaps had an unrealistic view of what it would take to truly prepare their workforces for the future.

A year later, it appears reality has set in. In this year’s report from Deloitte Global on business readiness for Industry 4.0, the number of executives reporting they are doing all they can to create a workforce for Industry 4.0 dropped by nearly half, with only 47 percent agreeing. This dramatic shift is an indication that executives are gaining a much deeper understanding of Industry 4.0, are increasingly aware of the challenges before them, particularly with respect to the workforce, and are viewing the actions needed to succeed in Industry 4.0 more realistically.

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