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Future Skills

The workplace of the future will be increasingly shaped by digital information and processes. Traditional professions will change and new job profiles will emerge. The ability to use digital technologies and Internet-based applications will become more important in virtually all industries and occupations. And new forms of interaction and knowledge production will also influence day-to-day life beyond the world of work, touching practically every area of ​​life. Against the backdrop of an ever-changing society, familiarity with digital technologies and collaborative methods will become a central prerequisite - not just for economic success, but also for participation in society.

But which skills will be needed in the workplaces and society of the future? How great is the demand of German business for these future skills? This discussion paper offers an initial approach to answering these questions. It takes the assumption that, although broad categorizations of future skills have already been defined (eg, by the OECD, World Economic Forum, McKinsey Global Institute, Ashoka Foundation), the current demand for these skills in German business has not yet been sufficiently addressed . In the first part of this paper, the Stifterverband and McKinsey have worked with businesses to analyze today's skills challenges and to develop a framework of relevant future skills. The study is based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative surveys.

The Future Skills Framework is neither intended to be a rigid, general categorization nor to replace the above-mentioned frameworks. Instead, it seeks to map the latest trends and demands in the German economy, predict skills gaps, and in so doing deliver short to medium-term triggers for education policy as well as universities and further training institutions. The framework forms the conceptual basis of the future skills initiative of the Stifterverband, and will be regularly updated and adapted to changing circumstances. Building on this framework, the second part of this paper will deliver an initial approximation of the future demand for individual future skills in businesses. This in turn will be differentiated according to demand for specialists with a specific skill in new technology fields and demand for key cross-disciplinary qualifications. The calculations and analyzes show that there is high demand for training in both areas, which can be covered by very different measures.