Skills gap could have alarming consequences

An alarming gap between job openings and an increasingly shrinking pool of skilled, talented workers could “debilitate” key markets across the globe, according to a new analysis from executive search firm Korn Ferry International.

Those markets could lose trillions of dollars in unrealized annual revenues, with significant impacts on major economies evident by 2030, the analysis finds.

The study estimates the gap between future talent supply and demand in 20 major economies at three milestones: 2020, 2025 and 2030, and across three sectors: financial and business services; technology, media and telecommunications; and manufacturing. It found that left to run its course, this shortage will create 85.2 million unfilled jobs and nearly $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenue in the economies analyzed.
What’s more, a shortage of what the report calls “Level A” workers–those who have completed postsecondary education or a high-level trade college qualification–could equal 21 percent of the highly-skilled workforce of the 20 countries in the study.

The talent shortage crisis could undermine market dominance within sectors:

Labor shortages in financial and business services are the most severe with a potential deficit of 10.7 million workers globally by 2030, which could cause the sector to lose out on annual revenues of US$1.3 trillion.
Technological advancement across all sectors of the economy could be hindered by an acute global labor shortage of 4.3 million technology, media and telecommunications workers by 2030.
Manufacturing is facing a talent deficit crisis of 7.9 million workers globally by 2030, despite being the only sector with a surplus of highly skilled workers in 2020.
The report also points to a “sizable mismatch” between available skilled workers and business demand in a number of countries, including the U.S. Korn Ferry CEO Alan Guarino urged companies to address the looming talent gap now in order to stabilize their futures.

Many businesses have established partnerships with colleges and universities to address these issues through efforts such as local internships, counseling with career coaches to identify successful post-graduation paths, and more.

By focusing on the return on education students get for their financial investment in higher education, institutions hope to improve recruitment and produce successful graduates who contribute to the workforce.

Some schools, including Clark University (Mass.) and James Madison University (Va.), are integrating academic advising and career counseling and extending career preparation across students’ college experiences. These new hybrid advising roles fill a gap between students’ courses and desired career outcomes.