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 organisation, 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.

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Upskilling is more than just providing access to training.

A call to action.

Is technology a force for good or harm? What’s clear is that we are at a critical juncture: our new world urgently needs new skills, and everyone must have the opportunity to get them.

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

We asked more than 22,000 workers 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. 

Does the impact of technology excite or worry you? Are you ready to learn new skills? Compare yourself against 20,000 people around the world


Compare your answers with those from the survey...

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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. 

At PwC, we are working with other organisations across the world, building on our work with clients and on upskilling our 260,000 people. Still, more must be done if we are to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn, work and participate in the digital world. This is at the heart of our purpose.

Join us. We’re starting an upskilling movement.

Giving more people the opportunity to upskill.

Businesses need an upskilling strategy — it’s responsible business and a commercial necessity.

Everyone has the right skills to participate in the digital economy.

Working together to improve skills across society.

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Insights on upskilling

We’ve pulled together research and insights to guide your decision-making on how to upskill. 



Contact us

Barry Ross

Global Upskilling Programme Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7802 219 116

Carol Stubbings

Joint Global Leader, People and Organisation, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 77 3987 4275

Blair Sheppard

Global Leader, Strategy and Leadership Development for the PwC Network, PwC United States

Colm Kelly

Global Tax and Legal Services Leader, Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 8943

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