New world. New skills.

Everyone should be able to live, learn, work and participate in the digital world.

Our jobs are changing, and fast. Many roles are disappearing altogether, while new ones are springing up from nowhere. It’s estimated that each year, in almost every organization, 5 to 10% of roles will radically change, creating severe skills mismatches. The discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world is one of the most critical problems of our time.

It’s a problem for individuals, businesses, governments, policymakers and other institutions—because it’s a problem for everyone. And we need to work together to solve it.

Upskilling is more than just training. It’s about gaining the knowledge, skills and experience for new and transformed roles, and being equipped to participate and adapt in an increasingly digital world.
 

Upskilling is more than just providing access to training.

Upskilling: Bridging the Digital Divide

Upskilling for the digital world has become a priority for society, organisations and governments. The world is at an inflection point, and we need to act now, collectively, to tackle this major, global issue before we risk excluding great swathes of society from the workplace. Watch this trailer of our short documentary “Bridging the Digital Divide".

Duration: 00:01:18

Watch the full video here

What do people really think about the impact of technology on jobs?

We asked more than 22,000 workers from across the globe to share their hopes and fears.  Here’s what they told us:

Change is coming

Workers know automation will change their jobs, and want to learn new skills to improve their employability.

  • 53% of workers believe automation will significantly change or make their job obsolete within the next ten years. Only 28% of respondents feel this is unlikely.
  • 77% of adults would learn new skills now or completely retrain to improve their future employability—of these, 35% "strongly agree".

Digital skills are key

 In fact, most workers welcome new technologies.

  • The majority (61%) were positive about the impact of technology on their day-to-day work.
  • But only a third of workers, 33%, are given many opportunities to develop digital skills outside their normal duties.

Opportunity awaits

At least half believe that automation presents more opportunities than risks. They believe that automation will improve their job prospects and enable them to achieve digital proficiency or become an expert.

  • 50% globally believe ‘automation presents more opportunities than risks’. 20% believe the opposite.
  • 60% of global respondents think technology will improve their job prospects. 26% say it will impede their prospects and 14% think it will make no difference.

Education matters

The level of education impacts people’s optimism. College and university educated respondents are the most optimistic about technology and their future employment prospects—even though they believe their current job is likely to change significantly or be displaced. Younger respondents prefer to develop proficiency in a specific technology, while older respondents are keen to build proficiency at learning and adapting to new technologies as they develop:

  • Fear is greatest where opportunities are fewest—among those whose formal education ended after secondary school.
  • Over a third (34%) of adults without education or training beyond secondary school say they are not learning any new digital skills, compared with just 17% of college or university graduates.
  • Workers without tertiary education are also less likely to be offered such training opportunities by their employers (38% are getting no such opportunities compared with 20% of graduate workers), and are understandably the group most nervous or fearful about the future.

Preparing everyone, everywhere, for the digital world

Our three-year commitment to upskill Canadians

It’s become increasingly apparent that one of Canada’s most pressing challenges is the growing mismatch between the skills people have and those needed for the digital world. That’s why we’re committing $150 million over the next three years to upskill our 7,850 people to be future ready and to share their knowledge to support clients and communities.

In addition to upskilling our own people, we’re also committed to providing training to 1 million people and NPOs across Canada to help them maximize their potential.

Learn more

88% of Canadian CEOs say they're concerned about the availability of key skills.

Source: PwC Canada's 22nd CEO Survey

16% of Canadian CEOs compared to 46% of global CEOs are focused on upskilling.

Source: PwC Canada's 22nd CEO Survey

“Upskilling is a complex journey that requires a significant shift in mindset for any organization. It is no easy feat to solve this alone, which is why your public, private and social sectors must work together to equip Canadians with the skills they need to succeed—no matter what the future holds. By building a movement focused on upskilling, our ambition is to help ensure that no Canadian is left behind in our new digital world.”

Nicolas Marcoux, CEO, PwC Canada

How to start upskilling 

The digital revolution requires a skills revolution. The skills revolution is about helping people build their digital awareness, understanding and skills to fully participate in the digital world — and it needs to start now.

How do organizations upskill?

Organizations are transforming their workforces to drive productivity, innovation and growth. Upskilling is key. It’s about anticipating the right skills for the future, laying the cultural foundation, delivering modern upskilling programmes, and building a learning and development function with the right EdTech to deliver a vastly better return on upskilling investment. 

Find out how we can help you upskill

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How is PwC reaching those at risk of being left behind?

The digital divide is already a significant global problem and is at risk of getting worse if we aren’t successful in helping those currently excluded from the workforce and the next generation to build the right skills. We are working to reach those where the need is greatest: 

Explore our global community initiatives

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How can businesses, governments and institutions work together on this complex issue?

Solutions to the challenge of upskilling will need to be developed at the local, regional and national level, and no one organisation can do this alone. Government leaders and policymakers need to ensure that citizens have the knowledge to participate, and they themselves have the knowledge to drive discussion on the future of technology and regulation. Institutions, such as those that make up the education system, need to digitally transform themselves and at the same time provide services that are fit for the future.

The need to upskill is a complex problem that will require decision-makers — educators, national, regional and local government administrators and business leaders — to come together. If you would like to find out more about what we at PwC are doing, get in touch.

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Going global

Upskilling equals opportunity. The global PwC network has come together to close the digital divide and provide opportunity to millions of people across the world. PwC’s Global Chairman Bob Moritz and Carol Stubbings, Joint Global Leader, People and Organization, explain how PwC is preparing the global workforce for unpredictable and emerging technologies. 

Learn more

Explore more on upskilling for the digital age

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Don’t talk about building a culture of innovation and growth. Do it.

Upskill your workforce to adopt a new digital mindset, enabling them to make what’s next from within your organization.

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Solving the talent gap for the new digital age requires us to upskill in the immediate and unlock the human potential of our youth.  The Knowledge Society is devoted to developing the next generation of activators that will solve the world’s most important problems.

Learn more

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Delivering extraordinary results through your people

New organizational, talent and human resource challenges are being faced as business leaders wrestle with global growth, skills mismatches, disruptive technology innovation and the tests of risk and regulation.

Creating possibility through digital transformation

As organizations work to address the challenge of increased customer expectations created by the rise of digital innovation, it’s time to rethink business by investing in customer experience and embarking on the path toward digital transformation.

Contact us

Matthew Wetmore

National Managing Partner Industry & Regions, Strategy&, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7483

Diane Kazarian

Managing Partner, Greater Toronto Area and National Banking and Capital Markets Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 365 8228

Dave Peters

National Tax Transformation Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7481

Jean McClellan

Partner, National People and Organization Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7578

James Temple

Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 815 5224

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