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January 18, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:03am

Young workers lacking tech skills & education for Fourth Industrial Revolution

News: Infosys research reveals that a lack of technology skills will make it difficult for young people to advance career prospects.

By CBR Staff Writer

Research commissioned by Infosys has revealed insight into a generation that is positive about technology, divided economically about their career chances, and unsatisfied in their current formal education.

The majority of respondents in emerging countries like India and China, alongside developed economies such as France and e UK, said that computer sciences subjects were important education tools.

In emerging economies like China and Brazil, 68% of respondents are concerned that a lack of technology skills will make it increasingly difficult for young people to advance career prospects.

According to the research, it could motivate young people to seek out the technical skills they need. Currently around 78% in Brazil and India are confident that they have the required skills for a successful future career. This sentiment is however lower in developed countries, such as France (53%) and Australia (51%).

The research also revealed a large technical knowledge gap between emerging and developed economies. A 30% gap was found between Indian young men (81%), when compared to the US (51%).

Among female respondents, the gap is 28% between India (70%) and the US (42%), and 37% with the UK (33%).

In developed countries, the youngest in the workforce feel acute pressure to find a good paying job, with 76% of young workers in France believing their job prospects are worse than those of their parents’ generation.

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In the US, 45% of those surveyed said their academic education failed to support career goals as it is very or quite old-fashioned, compared to 37% in China.

In the UK and Australia, 77% of respondents said they had to learn new skills on their own in order to do their jobs, as their school or university education did not provide enough knowledge for the workplace, compared to 66% in India.

The respondents said that as technology increasingly takes away routine tasks, they will need to carry out lifelong learning to develop new skills and focus on soft skills that computers will not be as adept at handling.

The research has also found that job security was key for today’s youth, with the majority of them uninspired to work in volatile start-up ventures.

The majority of respondents, particularly in developed economies, are wary to set up their own business, preferring employment with established large and mid-size firms.

Infosys CEO and managing director said Vishal Sikka: "Young people around the world can see that new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will enable them to reimagine the possibilities of human creativity, innovation and productivity.

"To empower these young people to thrive in this great digital transformation, our education systems must bring more focus to lifelong learning, experimentation and exploration – in addition to bringing computer science and technology more fundamentally into the curriculum."

Future Foundation carried out the research, under which 1,000 young people aged between 16 and 25 were polled per country, in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and the US.


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