- Global skill mismatches are "imposing a 6% annual tax on the global economy in the form of lost labor productivity," according to a Jan. 15 report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
- Part of the problem is that skills are becoming obsolete at an increasingly fast rate, BCG said. This increases demand for reskilling and upskilling, but "[t]he system for building human capital needs to be updated," said Leila Hoteit, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the report, in a statement.
- BCG said these changes have driven several new demands: 1) a need for employees to possess the cognitive and noncognitive skills necessary for adapting to changing requirements; 2) a need for individuals to take responsibility for their own professional development; and 3) a need for collaboration between employees, employers, governments and education systems.
Researchers say the skills gap has grown in recent years, leading employers to revisit their talent strategies and find a balance between building and buying talent. Leaders have focused on upskilling current employees and reconsidered credential requirements for job applicants.
But BCG's recommendation that individuals take responsibility for their own learning may prove an uphill battle. Recent studies show that employees believe they are at least somewhat responsible, but most fail to take any action. Moreover, they generally expect employers to pay for education, and most are, at least when it comes to professional certifications.
Finally, the recommendation that employers collaborate with other entities to address skills shortfalls echos what others have said. For example, "it's not good enough to draw up new curriculum at the community college," Scott Jensen, director of Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training, said during a June Brookings Institution symposium. "It's that plus, let's make a recruiting capacity that can reach into communities much better and find people who might be very talented but would maybe get missed."