According to the World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology. There is a skill gap and a misalignment between the skills people learn and the cognitive skills people need in the digital economy.


The future job candidates must be able to collaborate, communicate and solve problems – skills developed mainly through social and emotional learning (SEL), which are critical components of 21st century skill framework but not core in today’s curriculum.

An analysis of 213 studies showed that learners who received SEL instruction had achievement scores that averaged 11 percentile points higher than those who did not, and is manifested in better employment and educational fulfillment.

A Framework for social and emotional learning


A World EconomicForum report, The Future of Jobs, at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future launched during the Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos, looked at the current and future impact of key disruptions on employment levels, skill sets and recruitment, by surveying chief human resources officers.

Technological disruption such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and genetics and biotechnology are compounding  the impact of socio-economic, geopolitical and demographic  shifts.

Jobs gains in the next five years will not be enough to offset expected losses, meaning we have a difficult transition ahead.

Current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes up to 2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs – two-thirds of which are concentrated in routine manufacturing and production roles and back office functions, such as office and administrative roles – and a total gain of 2 million jobs, in compute, data analytics, mathematical, and architecture and engineering related fields.

Across nearly all industries, the impact of technological and other changes is shortening the shelf-life of employees’ existing skill sets.

On average, by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today. In addition, technical skills will need to be supplemented with strong social and collaboration skills.

A new type of specialised sales representative and senior manager will also be in demand – one who can successfully steer companies through the upcoming change and disruption.

Business leaders are aware of the challenge, but have been slow to act decisively in anticipating and addressing disruptions to employment and skills in a timely manner.

Currently, only 53% of chief human resource officers surveyed are reasonably or highly confident regarding the adequacy of their organisation’s future workforce strategy to prepare for the shifts ahead. At the same time, workers in lower skilled roles may find themselves caught up in a vicious cycle where they could face redundancy without significant re- and upskilling even while disruptive change may erode employers’ incentives and the business case for investing in such reskilling.

Business leaders  must ensure that development of social and emotional skills becomes a shared goal, and people to take greater responsibility for their own personal and professional development by embracing lifelong learning.