In 2020 the World Economic Forum sounded an alarm by announcing that the world is facing an upskilling emergency, with a need to upskill more than 1 billion people by 2030.

Building careers in today’s highly digital, data-driven world requires adaptability, flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning. A 2022 PWC Global Survey found that 74% of CEOs are concerned about finding the right people with the right skills for the future. It also highlighted that young people claim to possess problem-solving, adaptability, collaboration, and the ability to learn quickly. They tend to be less confident when it comes to entrepreneurial ability, digital skills, EQ, and creativity.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute looked at the kind of jobs that will be lost, as well as those that will be created. 4 categories of foundational skills are identified that help people thrive in the future of work, and A.S. Watson adopts this model CXO Insights to ensure our colleagues are fit for the future—cognitive, digital, interpersonal, and self-leadership.

“Today’s workforce needs to learn new skills and continually  adapt as new roles emerge and two of the most critical skills  are Mental Flexibility and Digital Fluency”

Structured learning is still important today, but it’s not the main way people achieve high levels of performance. Pevvople learn anywhere, anytime, mostly on the job and from others. To help kick start our reskilling activities we have developed a series of upskilling toolkits which are built around the 70:20:10 Learning Model (70% on-the-job challenging experiences, 20% from other people and 10% formal training).

Today’s workforce needs to learn new skills and continually adapt as new roles emerge and two of the most critical skills are Mental Flexibility and Digital Fluency. With increasing customer demands and new technologies, many organisations have been focusing on agility to ensure there is a high level of robustness in business strategies, customer service and operations. One of the critical deltas underpinning this is Mental Flexibility, enabling a robust and adaptable response to the intensively changing customer buying behaviours and competitive landscape. Those who possess high mental flexibility will be able to smoothly move between different tasks and will look at challenges from several different perspectives not only their own.

Today’s employees need more than digital literacy. They need Digital Fluency, the ability to understand technology well enough to easily switch between platforms, understand which online tools will help them, and apply lessons learned in one platform to the other platforms they use. For example, those who are fluent in another language don’t just comprehend it, they can use it on the fly, adapt it to their current conversation and use it in creative ways when they need something.

With the rise of O+O (Offline plus Online) platforms that are shaping the future of retail and transforming the retail ecosystem worldwide, retail offers so many dynamic career opportunities. As the world’s largest international health & beauty retailer, A.S. Watson is passionate about building a better future for young people. In support of that, we are offering 200,000 job openings for young people globally by 2030. The pledge is to give young people from all over the world the opportunities, skills and experiences to equip them for the fast-changing business landscape and kickstart their careers in retail.

We are not only offering job opportunities but also providing training and coaching to give young people the skills they need to work in the new world of O+O retail. We plan to provide 5 million training hours specifically for youth in our global workforce to embrace the future.