Workforce planning for 2030: Preparing for the disruption of the 4th IR

By suzannehattingh, 4 July, 2017

The Fourth Industrial Revolution demands a fundamental rethink of Workforce Planning and Skills Development strategies. The South African Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system requires a re-examination of the ingrained beliefs about how to prepare the workforce for 2030, to “eclipse the old paradigms of education”. (Marius Oosthuizen in Acumen, GIBS Business School, Issue 20, 2017)

The workforce of the 4th-IR requires new skills for a workplace that will be radically transformed by disruptive technologies. Ian Goldin & Chris Kutarna confirm this in their book, Age of Discovery - Navigating the Risks and Rewards of our New Renaissance, which they see as encompassing the 4th-IR. Goldin (in the same Acumen publication) stresses the need for exceptional talent and creativity, the ability to break through barriers and develop collective genius through collaborative learning. These are the kind of skills identified by the Institute for the Future and World Economic Forum as essential to survive and thrive in the rapidly changing workplace – skills that are generally not developed through the formal PSET system, which is failing to prepare the current and future workforce for 2030. Organisations need to conduct ‘future-focused’ Skills Audits to ensure that they cultivate the skills they will need to navigate the complex and unpredictable new world of work. (Full article on



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