The Future of Skills: MetaSkills 4.0

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The Future of Skills: MetaSkills 4.0

Technological and societal disruptions due to pandemics and government interventions are coming at all of us thick and fast. Whilst we cannot predict what the future has in store for us, we can always  prepare for a future that is increasingly unpredictable. An emphasis on skills and human capital therefore gives us to strong foundation to build up a sustainable society. In fact, everybody needs the skills not just to cope with change but to thrive in the midst of it. The ability to constantly and consistently upgrade oneself today is no longer a good to have but a necessary mindset that every Singaporean should embrace moving forward.

To ensure we thrive as individuals, businesses and on an economic and a societal level, we all need to develop new skills. These skills are not just to help us cope in this environment of ongoing change. They are skills to excel; to collaborate and empathise with others and to create our own futures.

We have termed these skills for the future ‘meta-skills’, and define them as timeless, higher order skills that create adaptive learners and promote success in whatever context the future brings. These are the skills that enable individuals to perform highly today; in a changed world of work they will be required by all of us.

These skills and capabilities themselves are not new. In fact, they are ancient human capabilities that have enabled people to succeed throughout history. They have been called many things and classified in a range of different ways across the globe. The difference now is the imperative for us to increase the value that society places on these skills, so that they are held by more people and in greater depth. Defining them more clearly supports this by increasing our awareness of how these skills are demonstrated, by helping us appreciate that they can be learned and by pointing to how we can go about doing this.

The skills have been classified under three headings:

• Self management: Manage the now
• Social intelligence: Connect with the world
• Innovation: Create our own change

The skills have been reviewed for their level of ease of automation (McKinsey) to verify their timeless nature. There are many interrelationships and dependencies between these skills as they each support the development of a range of other skills across the model. For example, you will need the capacity to focus on a challenge to allow for creativity and innovation in coming up with solutions and you will then need initiative to make these ideas become a reality. Concepts such as emotional intelligence, entrepreneurialism and confidence are made up of components that are represented across the model.