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The skills needed from a post COVID-19 workforce

We take a look at the vital skills that business and education providers should be ensuring that they make a priority as our economy begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

While COVID-19 is changing the working landscape and we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic day to day, it’s also important to look ahead so we can prepare for the changes that are inevitably coming.

A focus on positive opportunities

A change in mentality is important to be able to reframe the changes and adaptations we’ve had to make. There will inevitably be even more ongoing changes to day to day life and it’s important to look at these as opportunities rather than barriers.

Young people will be the driving force in rebuilding the UK economy, so it’s crucial we support them to ensure they are motivated and equipped with the skills needed, so they can play an active role in a better future. However, it’s not just the next generation we need to focus on; upskilling is also vital to ensure those already in employment, or those seeking new employment, can continue to support organisations as changes happen.

Forbes has stated that it is extremely unlikely that things will just go back to exactly the way they were before. Our workplaces are likely to change, and with it, the skills companies will require.

What might the post COVID-19 workforce look like?

While the pandemic has brought a lot of disruption, it’s also forced a lot of businesses to take action; from improving or launching digital services, to allowing flexible working and implementing digital structures to allow people to work from home and remain productive.

There’s long been a focus on the importance of digital literacy in the future workforce, which is now even more prevalent, but what are the other skills which will equip the workforce of the future?

  • Adaptability – the way businesses operate will change, and those employees need to be flexible enough to be able to adapt with those changes.
  • Creativity – for businesses to be able to change, they need people who can create the change.
  • Data literacy – understanding customers and data so business can use this to thrive.
  • Leadership – change inevitably requires people who can inspire teams to create the change.
  • Emotional intelligence – in times of uncertainty, the ability understand and read emotions will be vital in organisations across the globe, big and small.

Supporting the hardest hit industries with new skills

While most industries have been affected by the pandemic some industries, such as travel, transport, hospitality and manufacturing, have been the hardest hit. According to professional services network, PwC, these sectors will shrink by 15-25% in 2020. As a result, we expect to see a rise in unemployment. A House of Commons report Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market, showed a 69% increase in the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits between March and April 2020.

The ability to support upskilling and employability is vital for the future workforce. In addition to this, knowledge in good health practices, including mental health, counselling, nutrition and infection control, will be sought after as the world looks to support individuals and businesses in the aftermath of the pandemic.

NCFE – supporting the future of learning

We’re seeing a significant growth in the number of individuals who are studying and learning online.

NCFE alongside our premier partner, Learning Curve Group, has developed high quality qualifications which are suitable for online delivery and supported by delivery-ready resources, to help learners succeed now and in the future.

These qualifications cover a range of disciplines including business, health and employability; areas we know will support the needs of the future workforce.

For further information on these qualifications and how we can support you, visit ncfe/distancelearning.

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