COVID-19 has accelerated changes that were already disrupting the business world, and employees must quickly adapt by learning new skills.
A skills gap was already a problem for many companies before the heavy disruption that came from lockdowns and remote work amid a global pandemic. McKinsey reported:
Even before the current crisis, changing technologies and new ways of working were disrupting jobs and the skills employees need to do them. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers—or 14 percent of the global workforce—would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem.