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Revealed: 8 essential skillsets that millennials need to succeed

Revealed: 8 essential skillsets that millennials need to succeed

In the decade ahead, about half of the existing jobs will go through a complete skills overhaul

We have jobs today that did not exist five years ago, and five years from now there will be new jobs that do not exist today.

In the decade ahead, more than a quarter of jobs will be heavily disrupted by technology, while about half will go through a complete skills overhaul.

Irrespective of industry or geography, to succeed millennials will need to possess eight essential skillsets:

1. Constant learning: Agility and adaptability are the most critical capabilities in changing environments, and these take root in constant learning. Individuals who want to remain relevant will need to take ownership of their continuing personal development, embracing different roles and entirely new industries.

2. Professionalism: Even some of the most talented millennial managers are guilty of being too casual or informal. Exemplary conduct at the workplace and how well a worker can engage with peers and superiors will make a big difference to how high he or she can climb the corporate ladder.

3. Social skills: Some commentators believe millennials rely too heavily on digital devices for communication, choosing text messages over face-to-face interactions. It’s important to be good at what you do but equally so to be good at communicating this to the world.

4. Soft skills: Although technology is changing the workplace, the significance of soft skills like adaptability, resilience, leadership, communication, and the ability to solve complex problems should not be overlooked. A balance of soft and hard skills make you more attractive to industries where change is the norm.

5. Networking: Given the plethora of online applications, keyword filters and targeted algorithms, the likelihood of securing a job, project or business opportunity are greater via personal and professional networks. Make friends.

6. Data savviness: Being data savvy is a skillset everyone will be expected to master. The ability to analyse data from different sources and establish meaningful insights will be a key requirement in the workplace of the future.

7. Team-building: True leadership is not about effective individuals but the kind of organisation they can create. Both internally and externally, a manager must know how to promote new projects, understand the ever-changing market, gain new insights and develop initiatives outside of team boundaries.

8. Vision: Modern managers are expected to find opportunities and understand how best to match these to capabilities. Possessing a strategic mind-set and using this wherever possible will give you a distinct advantage over your peers.

Dubai continues to develop a knowledge based economy

The Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 in close-up is an apt example. Launched by the Executive Council of Dubai in 2016 as part of Dubai Plan 2021, its aim is to increase Dubai’s GDP by $43bn through the addition of 27,000 new job in the strategically important sectors of aerospace, maritime, fabricated metals, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Another pertinent and highly applaudable citation is the recent introduction of the part-time employment system. By changing worker migration focus from sponsor-centric to worker-centric, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has just enhanced flexibility in the labour market.

This new focus on highly skilled professions stands to benefit everyone. Existing workforces can increase their productivity and their ability to earn additional income. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially the ones that cannot afford full-time hiring of skilled workers, can access a greater variety of such professionals on a less expensive basis.

Meanwhile, employers across sectors can benefit from part-time and shift-based skill workers who can bring relevant expertise and experience to their roles.

As businesses battle the multiple challenges of overcoming skills shortages, managing change, and creating more effective workforces, the hitherto passive and largely service-oriented role of Human Resources (HR) will have to evolve.

Role of HR

In large organisations, HR will have to take on a much wider ‘people remit’ that incorporates and influences almost all other aspects of business. In smaller firms, although the function may be outsourced or exist in a transactional form, internal teams will still focus on people sourcing. Another approach is to combine a proactive mind-set with a deep focus on business strategy. Irrespective of route or direction though, HR will play an essential role in finding – and retaining – skilled workers to sustain business.

On a broader level, there is a pressing need to close the skills gap between prescribed curricula and industry requirements, especially in knowledge-based sectors. The importance of promoting STEM education, and stimulating greater and earlier interest in these subjects in young generations cannot be stressed enough.

There is no doubt that the world of work is going to become even more complex than it is now. Learning, development, rewards, remuneration, employment, and engagement will change drastically and dramatically.

Students, parents, and prospective employees must begin with understanding how these factors are likely to change, if the strategies in place are solid enough to weather them, and how best they can be made sufficient and sustainable enough for the tomorrows.

Islam Shikooh is the vice president of Human Resources at Mashreq Bank

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