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. 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.

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.

Over the next four years, we at PwC are committing US$3bn to upskilling. This will primarily be invested in training our people, and in technologies for supporting clients and communities. Together we can grow tomorrow’s workers today. In the process, we’ll make the world a more resilient, more capable and more inclusive place.

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

We asked more than 2,000 workers in the GCC to share their hopes and fears. Here’s what they told us:

75% Workers who believe automation will significantly change or make their job obsolete within the next 10 years (53% global). Only 10% of respondents feel this is unlikely (28% global)
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Change is coming

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

  • 75% of workers believe automation will significantly change or make their job obsolete within the next ten years (53% global). Only 10% of respondents feel this is unlikely (28% global).
  • 96% of adults (77% global) would learn new skills now or completely retrain to improve their future employability—of these, 65% ‘strongly agree’ (35% global).
The majority 82% (61% global) were positive about the impact of technology on their day-to-day work.
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Digital skills are key

In fact, most workers welcome new technologies.

  • The majority 82% (61% global) were positive about the impact of technology on their day-to-day work.
  • But only 23% are learning new skills through their employer to better understand or use technology (33% global).
73% of workers in the GCC (50% global) believe ‘automation presents more opportunities than risks’. 13% believe the opposite (20% global).
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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.

  • 73% of workers in the GCC (50% global) believe ‘automation presents more opportunities than risks’. 13% believe the opposite (20% global).
  • 86% of respondents in the GCC think technology will improve their job prospects (60% global). 12% say it will impede their prospects (26% global) and just 3%think it will make no difference (14% global).
74% of men think that technology will bring more opportunities than risks, versus 66% of women.
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Gender matters

Men are more likely than women to think that technology will have a positive impact on their jobs and improve their employment prospects.

  • 74% of men think that technology will bring more opportunities than risks, versus 66% of women.
  • Women are more nervous about the future impact of technology than men. For example, 63% of women are worried that new technology will make their job redundant versus 35% of men.

Does the impact of technology excite or worry you? Are you ready to learn new skills? Compare yourself against 2,000 people around the GCC

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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 276,000 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.

How do organisations upskill?

Organisations 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.

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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.

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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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Contact us

Hani Ashkar

Middle East Senior Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3100

Randa Bahsoun

Partner, New world. New skills. Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3487

Abu Amin

Director, PwC Middle East

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