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As a mother, I think about the future for my child.
As an executive search professional, I think about the future role my son will play in business. Perhaps even as a leader in business. In Africa.

Yes, he is only four years old, but when you read about statistics that state that 65% of children starting school today will be working in jobs that do not currently exist, it forces me to question what skills I should be helping my son develop in order to be relevant for this future world of jobs.

The challenge that frustrates me is not knowing – granted, we know certain jobs won’t exist, but there doesn’t seem to be much by way of planning to ensure the correct education and skills development programmes are being developed at schools and universities.

I recently attended a conference, where I learned about the ‘Atlas of Emerging Jobs’ which details 165 new jobs for the future, and also identifies approximately seventy potentially endangered jobs. In Russia.

Most interesting for me, is how this information has allowed various stakeholders (in Russia) to start creating an actionable plan around training – from school level, career guidance, university and upskilling on the job.

The inevitable question for me is then what are we, as today’s leaders doing, in Africa? Not to simply identify the roles that will be extinct due to technology, but to work towards identifying the jobs and skills of the future, and providing a framework for how to ensure future generations and workforces develop the right skills and leadership capabilities to facilitate this.

Which is a very long sentence, asking ‘What are we doing about planning for the future of jobs in Africa?’

I’d love some answers. Preferably before my son gets to high school!

Michelle Bedford-Shaw
Principal Consultant

Michelle Bedford-Shaw

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