2024 Skills Forecast: Tackling the Global Skills Gap with Human-Centric Learning

Imagine a world where communication trumps coding, where empathy edges out engineering, and where collaboration competes with computing power. Welcome to the workplace of 2024, where the human touch is not just desired but demanded.


L&D and HR professionals are at the center of an extraordinary shift. The most sought-after skills in this rapidly transforming landscape are not the hard, technical abilities we once prioritized. Instead, they’re the softer, more human skills—the ones that AI can’t replicate.


Read on to explore the critical need to bridge the skills gap for a resilient future.

The Soft Power of Hard Skills


The statistics are staggering: LinkedIn’s 2024 most in-demand skills data shows that in the UK, four out of the top five skills sought by employers are soft skills, with communication leading the pack, followed by customer service, management, leadership, and teamwork.


Why this shift? As artificial intelligence (AI) reshapes the world of work, the skills needed for jobs are predicted to change by at least 65% by 2030—a change accelerated by rapid AI developments. Business leaders are increasingly relying on uniquely human soft skills to manage these changes.

The Growing Gap


Despite the rising demand for soft skills, a skills gap looms on the horizon. A concerning 69% of UK hiring managers believe this gap could widen in the next five years due to the fast-paced changes in the work environment.


How do we bridge this gap? By investing in soft skills development and AI literacy. Interestingly, younger professionals, particularly Gen Z, are already on board, with 47% spending more time on learning and development to get ahead in their careers.

The In-Demand Skills List


So, what are the specific skills that employers are clamoring for? Here’s the list for 2024:



    Customer Service




    Project Management

    Analytical Skills



    Research Skills


Digital and Tech Skills: The Underestimated Essentials


While soft skills take center stage, digital and tech skills can’t be underestimated. Both employers and employees undervalue these critical skills, creating a dangerous blind spot as the demand for tech talent soars.


McKinsey’s analysis reveals a growing divide between the need for tech and digital skills and the availability of qualified professionals. Although tech job postings surged by 15% from 2021 to 2022, a shortage of digitally skilled talent is hindering growth in key areas like AI, quantum computing, and renewables.

Closing the Skills Gap


Relying solely on traditional employee training for specific job roles or hiring for specific skills is no longer enough. Organizations must adopt a more dynamic, problem-solving-focused approach to prepare their teams for future challenges.


Firstly, reconsider your hiring and development strategies; it’s often more cost-effective to nurture your existing talent. The Financial Services Skills Commission and PwC UK highlight that financial firms can save up to £49,100 per employee by reskilling rather than recruiting.


To stay ahead, ask yourself:


    Which skills do we currently possess within our organization?

    What capabilities are we missing to achieve our goals?

    How can we better mobilize our team’s skills?


Companies that excel in reskilling, particularly in adapting to tech advancements, see significant financial rewards, with some reporting a 15% increase in revenue, per IBM IBV research. Those that integrate AI effectively can achieve an even more impressive 36% higher revenue growth rate than others.


Upskilling and reskilling initiatives aren’t just beneficial; they’re essential. McKinsey suggests a six-step path to thrive with ‘building the skills critical to your new business model’ and ‘creating tailored learning journeys’ being fundamental steps. This strategic approach to skills development ensures that employees can keep pace with the evolving tech landscape and businesses can harness the full potential of their employees.


In essence, it’s about cultivating a fertile ground where skills grow, develop, and translate into success.

The Reskilling Imperative


It’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a silver lining in the form of reskilling and upskilling initiatives. A proactive approach is needed: identify the skills your business model depends on, tailor learning journeys, and adopt an agile mindset.


As stewards of talent and culture, L&D and HR professionals must seize the moment. We must equip our workforce not only with the skills of today but also with the adaptability for tomorrow.


Are you ready to lead the charge in closing the skills gap and paving the way for a resilient, future-proof workforce? Connect with Hive Learning today, and let’s turn this vision into reality.

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