“When you hear about job creation, a lot of times I get frustrated because you don’t just create a job out of thin air, it’s based on the demand side,” ManPower International’s chief executive, Jeffery Joerres, told CNBC Africa.
“What we need to do is to make sure that where jobs are being created, [and] 65 per cent of jobs are in small, medium-sized businesses, we need to be able to free up those businesses for the invention of businesses, for innovation, and we need more than ever before because today’s innovation does not drag along as much employment.”
Education is one of the key topics being discussed at this year’s World Economic Forum annual meeting, held in Davos, Switzerland, as well as the importance of training, development, youth unemployment and an uncertain global labour market.
“We’re going through a change. We’re going through a human age that says this is all about how humans adjust to all of this technology and with that, it’s not going to come easily. It’s an ‘S’ curve – we’re going to have to make a little bit of a drop before we get up on the next climb,” Joerres said.
“What we are going to see, whether it be agriculture, manufacturing, value-added manufacturing services, [is] the jobs are going to be there. They’re going to require more education, more diligence and more of them because of the efficiency and productivity that now comes along with companies.”
Joerres also emphasised the importance of education and how it needs to develop in order to keep up with the evolution happening in employment and business.
“Education now needs to be much more iterative. It’s not as episodic, ‘I go to school for nine months and then I take off’ or ’I got to school for four years, get a university degree’. There has to be a more back and forth because business is moving faster. They need the skill quickly as opposed to waiting four years and then saying, ‘I don’t need to have education anymore, for the rest of my life’,” he explained.
“All of the paradigms are changing, we’re feeling the struggle and the labour market is the one that’s getting the brunt of all of this. Government can do a major part of training and education and then be open for business – that’s how you create jobs, when you create jobs with the willingness of people who have lifelong learning skills, you have a better, sustainable future.”