From the perspective of the social aspects of the environment, society, and corporate governance (ESG), supporting education and talent cultivation will benefit the long-term development of the whole society. The scope of education and talent development is broad, and companies can take various approaches and practices to support it. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to society, and the future has become more unpredictable. It is crucial to prepare talents for future challenges.
As early as 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the “Future of Education and Skills 2030” project. Subsequent research reports proposed various competencies and skills needed to address future societal development and transformations as a direction for education and talent cultivation.
According to the OECD reports, future skills are not confined to traditional academic knowledge. They include innovative thinking, collaborative abilities, cross-cultural communication, and problem-solving skills1. These competencies enable individuals to remain flexible and adaptable when facing diverse challenges in an increasingly dynamic and rapidly changing society.
The cultivation of future skills has a significant impact on the overall development of society. Firstly, these skills contribute to the healthy functioning of the labour market. With the prevalence of artificial intelligence and robotic technology, some traditional jobs might become obsolete, but at the same time, many new highly-skilled positions will emerge. Individuals equipped with future-ready skills can better adapt to these changes, maintaining their competitive edge in employment. Furthermore, these skills can foster innovation and entrepreneurship, driving economic growth and societal progress and ultimately benefiting businesses. Employees with these skills are more likely to maintain a competitive edge in a market environment that is constantly changing, which helps businesses better adapt to external changes from a corporate perspective.
In actively promoting the social aspect of ESG through the cultivation of future skills, companies can support educational institutions by participating in curriculum development and research. This ensures students acquire the necessary skills, such as innovative thinking and collaboration, during their educational journey. Companies can also engage in initiatives that promote community innovation, such as community incubators for entrepreneurship. Internally, companies can establish work environments that encourage innovation and providing space for experimentation and creativity. This fosters innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities, enabling employees to generate new ideas and innovative solutions.
Companies can play a more significant role in nurturing societal talents with future skills. This endeavour not only reflects their corporate social responsibility but also contributes to the sustainable development of society.
1. OECD. (n.d.). OECD Future of Education and skills 2030. https://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/
Author: Mr. Timothy Hassan, Certified ESG Planner - ICSD 國際可持續發展協進會