Several megatrends are increasingly impacting the way that people choose to work and the way that organisations think about human capital. In 2017, we identified six key trends that describe the context in which our business operates, and which shape our strategy: geopolitical and economic uncertainty; the gig economy; skills imbalances; the new demographic mix; automation, AI and machine learning; and digitisation, big data and analytics. A clear outcome of the megatrends is that flexible ways of working are becoming more common.

Individuals are increasingly looking for portfolio careers, made up of shorter gigs and assignments, with more variety of work experiences and greater flexibility over how, when and where they work. Meanwhile companies, recognising that agility is key in a rapidly changing global economy, are organising their workforces in more flexible structures that emphasise having the right skills on demand. The Adecco Group, as a leader in flexible employment solutions, has an important role to play in facilitating this transition.

Another outcome of the megatrends is rising talent scarcity, due to demographics and the pace of technological change. We see our role here as twofold: first, we are an expert at finding talent for our more than 100,000 clients, across a broad range of sectors and in 60 countries and territories. As sourcing the best talent becomes more challenging, our clients rely on our expertise even more, to ensure that scaling the human factor of their business is not an impediment to growth.

Second, we play an increasing role in helping candidates to boost their employability, with a focus on training, development and coaching. Pessimism about future employment levels has become commonplace but we believe it is misplaced. While tasks are automated and roles change, millions of new jobs are created by new technologies. A 2018 report from the World Economic Forum forecast that 133 million jobs would be created in emerging IT and technology roles by 2022; significantly more than the 75 million jobs that would be lost to automation. A lack of jobs is not the challenge – ensuring that the workforce is ready for them.

The Adecco Group is stepping up to meet this challenge with a commitment to upskill and reskill five million people by 2030. The objective is to enable more individuals, regardless of their background, to learn 21st century digital skills such as coding, data science and machine learning, to help secure their future employability. The Group also already runs apprenticeship programs, to support young people entering the workforce and, in many countries, provides training to experienced workers through the Adecco temporary staffing business. In Professional Solutions, Modis VSN in Japan trains hundreds of engineers every year, who are then placed with clients. And during 2019 we replicated this model in the US with the launch of Modis Academy, drawing on the
up/reskilling capabilities of General Assembly (GA), acquired by the Adecco Group in 2018.

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