In many countries, population ageing, new technologies like AI, machine learning and big data, automation and globalization are changing the way the world is working. A new report from OECD– “Getting Skills Right: Future-Ready Adult Learning Systems” argues that these aspects affect the jobs available and the skill-sets these jobs require. The adult learning systems have to be ready if the companies and individuals have to reap the benefits of changing working conditions. This is necessary to help people develop their skills according to the changes in the world of work.

Most of the people, who are affected by the changes, are already working, so the development systems have a key role in up-skilling or re-skilling the people. But there remains a main challenge and that is adult learning systems cannot be defined. There are various ways for acquiring the skills, from basic education through the workplace to liberal adult education. So, future-proof learning systems require improvement in the readiness of the system and coordination between them for preparing people for the future.

According to a survey, in OECD countries, just 41% of people take part in training in a year. Besides that, people, who are unemployed for a long time, have fewer qualifications or with the risk of losing the job due to automation, are less probable of participating in the training. OECD further analyzed that among people, who take training, 14% wants to learn further but couldn’t due to some reason. And, out of one-fifth of people, who do not take any training, are willing to take it. Some of the reasons given by people for lack of participation in training include lack of time, work pressure at the job, no support from the employer, or financial issues.

The report emphasizes the importance of training to individuals so that they can acquire the skills needed for the job market. In some European countries, funds are collected for training and then distributed to fund employee-training. But along with that training, employers should also provide learning opportunities so that individuals can develop important skills needed for progress in their careers.

There are various issues in upgrading adult learning systems and those should be solved quickly so that people acquire new skills to adapt to the future of work. The report from OECD suggests some measures that can be taken to tackle this problem. First, the effectiveness and quality of training have to be improved in all the countries. Companies can help people to make choices about training. The benefits of adult training have to be promoted effectively and support for the unemployed and low skilled people should be offered. The employers should be encouraged to contribute towards adult training programs through tax incentives and training levies. These measures, if taken, will definitely enhance the skills of adults and help them in the changing future of work.