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A Future Skills Assessment Advances Lifelong Learning and Labor Productivity

Explore BCG’s Future Skills Architect tool to gauge the skills mismatch in your country’s labor supply, understand its root causes, and identify the policy measures that can erase the mismatch by promoting reskilling and lifelong learning among workers.



What Is a Skills Mismatch?

Around the world, more than 1.3 billion people currently work in jobs for which they are either under- or over-qualified, according to BCG research Alleviating the Heavy Toll of the Global Skills Mismatch. This skills mismatch results in employers hiring workers without the needed qualifications and having to reskill or retrain them. It is inversely correlated to productivity, innovation, and even sustainable development—and denies the world’s economies about $8 trillion in unrealized GDP each year.

The skills mismatch imposes a further constraint on economies and companies already grappling with a skills gap. The skills gap results from a shortage of candidates who possess the skills needed to fill future job demands. The rapid shifts to digitization and automation made by companies during COVID-19 have been intensifying both the skills gap and the skills mismatch.

Correcting the skills mismatch requires a national, corporate, and individual commitment to skill development, continuous and lifelong learning in business, and retraining.

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, data showed that one in three people in the OECD countries was working in an occupation completely unrelated to his or her field of study—and not by choice.

BCG’s Tool in Future Skills Assessment

BCG’s Future Skills Architect, an evidence-based tool, enables public sector and business leaders to uncover the skills mismatch in their labor supply. It also allows them to explore the policy measures already being used by some countries to solve the problems in reskilling, lifelong learning, and learning programs.

Through the Future Skills Architect, BCG offers:

  • A country maturity assessment. Scores are calculated for 75 countries.
  • The FSA Maturity Index. The global index comprises 75 countries accounting for approximately 95% of the world’s GDP and 79% of its population. Regional indices are also calculated.
  • A national goal-setting model.
  • A library of about 50 plug-and-play solutions. The solutions highlighted on the third tab of the interactive above include government policies and market-based instruments for promoting reskilling and lifelong learning and tackling mismatch-related issues.
  • National benchmarks. The metrics compare nations’ skills mismatches and skills-related parameters.

This tool assesses seven building blocks related to the capabilities, motivation, and opportunities of a nation’s labor supply. Countries’ assessment scores for these dimensions are captured on the second tab of the interactive above:

  • Fundamental skill sets
  • Life-long employability
  • Self-realization
  • Human-focused environment
  • Accessible opportunities
  • Skills liquidity
  • Labor market inclusivity

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