Young workers urged to learn new skills in COVID-19 age

The changing environment calls for a transformation in how we think about learning, and acquiring the ability to adapt.
By: | December 21, 2020

Faced with rising unemployment, disrupted education and more disadvantages for vulnerable groups, the younger population ought to learn how to thrive during and after the pandemic, says The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), a non-profit organisation that specialises in global education and development. 

“This changing environment calls for a transformation in how we think about learning, and young people must ‘learn to learn’ in order to develop the abilities required to gain new skills and adapt, which will help them secure work opportunities,” said IREX.

“They must also learn to discern reliable information to navigate today’s information landscape fraught with false and misleading information.”

To that end, the top 10 skills identified by the World Economic Forum in 2020 are, in order of priority: complex problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; people management; coordination with others; emotional intelligence; judgement and decision making; service orientation; negotiation; and cognitive flexibility. 

READ: Why reskilling and upskilling will be critical to organisational success

IREX also highlighted that it found that employers seek young employees with soft skills like communication, creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking. 

“To ‘learn to learn’, policy-makers and education and youth development practitioners must expand skills frameworks to include learning to learn, and learning to discern as fundamental soft skills that can help young people thrive in a rapidly changing world of work,” it says.