Skills for the labour market of tomorrow

The world of work is permanently changing. Although sometimes the changes are very gradual, so we are not aware of them in our life and work routine. But on the other hand, we also encounter leaps and bounds, often caused by sudden or uncontrollable changes that hasten development. A concrete example is the Covid-19 pandemic or the boom of AI tools that create pressure for greater flexibility, the ability to adapt, manage stress and learn quickly with new technologies. And these and many other skills are among those that will need to be cultivated and developed to a higher level.

Why to learn new skills?

Before exploring the skills that the labour market will increasingly need to develop, it is good to understand why it is important to learn new skills. 

It goes without saying that new skills will allow us to be better positioned in the labour market and have improved career prospects. However, it also helps in many other aspects to:

  • be more resilient, have better mental health, regulate one’s own emotions, better understand others, reduce stress and build healthy relationships;
  • increase our efficiency, enhance collaboration capability and work better in teams;
  • have a multi perspective view and broaden our horizons;
  • be able to work better in different environments and settings;
  • bring added value beyond automation and artificial learning systems.

The key finding of “The Future of Jobs Report 2020” show that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. At the same time 40% of current workers’ core skills are expected to change in the next 5 years. The rate of automation will continue to accelerate, the same applies for digitalisation which has been pushed by Covid-19 by 84% of companies which took part in the survey (291 unique responses by global companies, representing more than 7.7 million employees world-wide).

AI versus human – what skills will make us competitive?

There are many different lists and overviews in the literature of key skills that will need to be developed to adapt to new technologies and global trends. Among these, skills such as adaptability, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, digital literacy and continuous learning often appear. Although technology is moving forward quickly, it would be foolish to think that communication skills, empathy and the ability to deal with different types of people will not be valued in the future. On the contrary. These skills will be a competitive advantage over artificial intelligence, which will compete with humans in several industries.

What are the top 10 skills of 2025?

The Future of Jobs Report 2010 introduced a list of Top 10 skills of 2025 divided into four categories related to: problem-solving, self-management, working with people and technology use and development. Looking more closely at the list of skills, it is clear that many of the skills relate primarily to the development of more complex cognitive processes associated with advanced technologies. On the other hand, creativity, initiative, leadership, social influence, resilience and the ability to cope with stress are also among the important skills, highlighting the fact that humans are not machines. This is also confirmed by the “McKinsey Global Institute Report” (2021) which shows that people will need to learn more social and emotional as well as technological skills in order to move into occupations with higher wages. At the same time, we can’t forget that there are many societies where people still struggle with basic literacy. Even in Europe, one in five people struggle with reading and writing and an even higher number of people have poor numeracy and digital skills. Moreover, only 4 in 10 adults take part in further learning.

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To sum up, it is clear that changes in our skillsets will be inevitable to keep pace with the developments in the labour market. For this reason, it is important to stay curious and receptive to what is happening around us.


WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM. The Future of Jobs Report 2020. October 2020. Available at:

LUND SUSAN at al. The future of work after COVID-19. McKinsey Global Institute, February 2021.

Author: Team AVITEUM, Prague / Czech Republic

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