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27 – 29, 2024

Spotlight Talk

The Looming Reskilling Challenge: Endless Opportunity, Even More Complexity

Date Thursday, Nov 24  Time   –    Room Pavillon

Here's the good news: With automation and AI expected to replace millions of jobs and reshape millions more, the demand for training is expected to grow. But here's the challenge: six-month coding courses and similar quickie, broadly focused approaches are not likely to provide the preparation workers need.

This Spotlight Talk explores why and suggests strategies that training professionals can adopt to help workers and their employers avoid unnecessary career and skills anxiety.

The digital transformation is changing both our assumptions about skills and our systems for upskilling and reskilling workers. This talk addresses that, while:

  • Explaining that the digital transformation provides opportunities to up- and re-skill workers but training as usual won’t work.
  • Defining key terms: digital transformation, upskilling, reskilling, education, and training.
  • Exploring why traditional employer-provided training is not a silver bullet for addressing the skills challenges brought by the digital transformation (and exacerbated by the pandemic).
  • Noting that skills are the new currency of the workplace: (a) why skills plus experience matter most to employers and (b) how new technologies across HR and L&D systems to identify skills within organizations, not just from tracking learning but also from tracking work.
  • Describing how the system for acquiring skills has changed, including changes in employer-provided training as well as the emergence of an eco-system of providers and opportunities to fill the voide.
  • Identifying government policies in many countries that support workers in ongoing re-skilling and upskilling efforts.
  • Answering your questions about the situation


  • Recognise the bifurcated nature of emerging employment, with the largest opportunities at either the lower-skilled or highly skilled ranges of the spectrum.
  • Characterise skills gaps between current and emerging jobs.
  • Recognise the impact of working conditions in emerging areas of employment.
  • Identify policies and programs that could address these challenges.

OEB speaker Saul Carliner

Saul Carliner

Professor, Concordia University, Canada


OEB speaker Ildiko Mazar

Ildiko Mazar

European Digital Credentials for Learning Implementation Support, NTT Data, Spain