Source | hbr.org | Anand Chopra-McGowan | Srinivas B. Reddy
As the global health crisis begins to recede in some countries, the economic one is only just beginning. As of May 27, 2020, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 94% of the global workforce lives in countries with active workplace closure measures. Businesses across a range of sectors are facing catastrophic losses, resulting in millions of workers vulnerable to layoffs.
Meanwhile, the past few months have also seen a rapid acceleration of three major forces: deglobalization, digitization, and corporate consolidation. With consumer habits shifting rapidly to online consumption, businesses have had to respond quickly with “digital transformation” plans in months instead of years. In line, one popular Internet meme singled out Covid-19 as the member of the C-suite responsible for digital transformation, as opposed to the chief digital or chief executive officer.
This is a unique scenario — millions unemployed on the one hand, and rapidly evolving and growing skills needs on the other. There is an opportunity for the former to solve the latter’s problem. With it, comes an urgency for companies, governments, and workers’ organizations to join forces and offer the global workforce clear reskilling pathways.