The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030

28 September 2017

View Report

Recent debates about the future of jobs have mainly focused on whether or not they are at risk of automation. Studies have generally minimised the potential effects of automation on job creation, and have tended to ignore other relevant trends, including globalisation, population ageing, urbanisation, and the rise of the green economy.

In this study from Pearson and Nesta the authors used a novel and comprehensive mixed method approach to map out how employment is likely to change and the implications for skills. They show both what we can expect and where we should be uncertain; highlighting likely dynamics in different parts of the labour market — from sectors like food and health to manufacturing.

The study challenges a culture of risk aversion that holds back technology adoption, innovation, and growth; this matters particularly to countries like the US and the UK, which already face structural productivity problems.

By identifying the bundles of skills, abilities, and knowledge that are most likely to be important in the future, as well as the skills investments that will have the greatest impact on occupational demand, this report provides information that educators, businesses, and governments can use for strategic and policy-making purposes to better prepare us for the future.