The World Economic Forum Jobs Reset Summit 2021 convened over 500 leaders this week from government, business and civil society to shape a new agenda for growth, jobs, skills and equity. The action-focused virtual event focused on laying the foundations of a new economy, one that provides opportunities for all.
“The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities – without action, we can expect a K-shape recovery. The Jobs Reset Summit and associated initiatives are dedicated to urgently “building back broader” by expanding access to education, reskilling and quality jobs, by embedding gender parity, racial equity and social justice, and by providing a platform for important debates on new growth models, taxation, the economic outlook and job creation,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.
Accelerating the Reskilling Revolution
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting, the Reskilling Revolution platform aims to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030.
A new alliance—SkillsLink—was announced at the Summit as a core component of the Reskilling Revolution. The alliance, focused on making skills the currency of the labour market, initially comprises 18 multinational companies and online learning providers, representing over 200 million learners worldwide. The alliance will adopt a common language for skills; recognize skills-based credentials; partner for skills-based learning delivery; and adopt and champion skills-based workforce strategies.
Additionally, Ministers of Education joined leaders from technology, online learning businesses and foundations to lay the groundwork for a new initiative on Education 4.0, dedicated to embedding a focus on education as a key part of economic recovery policies.
Good Jobs and the New Economy
An initial 14 companies formed a Partnership for New Work Standards aiming to set a new benchmark for a healthy, resilient and equitable future of work. Participating companies will co-create a framework for good work standards, with input from trade unions and independent experts, make commitments to raise the bar on good work for their sectors, and put a future of work strategy on their board’s agenda. Find out more about the founding companies here.
Building Back Broader: Policy Pathways for an Economic Transformation, a policy brief, was launched at the Jobs Reset Summit. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the report identifies the most urgent economic and social challenges and lays out concrete response options to shape an inclusive recovery. The areas of focus include fiscal and monetary policy, jobs and wages, education and skills, equity and social justice, building new markets, and managing frontier risks. Across these six areas, the publication emphasizes policies and partnerships that will offset the current trend towards K-shaped recoveries within and between economies and create more inclusive economic and social outcomes.
A quarterly Chief Economists Outlook was also published during the Summit. Based on consultations and surveys with the Forum’s Community of Chief Economists, this edition provides a snapshot of the state of the recovery and provides forecasts on growth, inflation, debt sustainability, the risk of economic scarring and social unrest.
Embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
The Partnering For Racial Justice In Business coalition, launched at Davos Agenda in January 2021, now comprises 58 organizations, representing 13 industries and 7 million employees. The group advanced its discussions on tackling racism in the workplace and driving systemic change to embed equity in the new economy.
The Closing the Gender Gap Accelerators are a global network of national efforts to close gender gaps and reshape gender parity for the future, supported by the Forum. At this week’s summit, Kazakhstan announced the establishment of an accelerator. The first of its kind in Central Asia, Kazakhstan joins Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Panama and Peru in creating public-private collaborations focused on increasing women’s participation in the workforce, closing the gender pay gap, and helping more women develop in-demand skills and advance into leadership roles.
Finally, the pandemic and its fallout has created an opportunity to increase the ambition level of businesses in making progress on social justice. A broad alliance of business leaders and corporate philanthropies came together at the Summit to better define and achieve ambitious targets on the “S” in ESG.
What Leaders said about Shaping an Inclusive Recovery
The event brought together over 500 leaders from government, business, academia and civil society to shape a new agenda for growth, jobs, skills and equity. Read what they had to say about the event here, with quotes from leading voices including: John Goodwin of The Lego Foundation; Wendy Clark of Dentsu International; Professor Mariana Mazzucato of UCL, Alex Liu of Kearney; Dr. Tariq Al Gurg of Dubai Cares; Sharan Burrow of ITUC; Badr Jafar of Crescent Enterprises; Gabe Dalporto of Udacity; and Lazzat Ramazanova of the National Commission on Women’s Affairs, Family and Demographic Policy of Kazakhstan.
Leaders from business and government are invited to join the key initiatives advanced at the Jobs Reset Summit 2021, namely the Reskilling Revolution, SkillsLink, the Partnership for New Work Standards, Partnering for Racial Justice in Business and the Closing the Gender Gap. Deloitte’s WorldClass initiative became the latest company-led initiative to join the Reskilling Revolution Business Alliance. WorldClass and the Forum encourage submission of innovative and scalable educational solutions on the UpLink platform.