We just need to reinvent ourselves…

A group of 15 year olds and 26 year olds have been brainstorming in Muscat and Salalah on what ought to be the skills needed to be developed to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The next few decades would see the millennials adapting new skills and new careers. This was part of Youth Focus Groups organised by Oman’s Future Skills Initiative of the Supreme Council for Planning in partnership with the World Economic Forum.
Naturally the steps are not just towards skills but the mindset itself, which the youngsters are already part of as the world is more connected than ever before. And any plan for the future must have an understanding of the young minds as they probably already have an idea on where they and the world are heading. It may be a good idea to listen to them more.
Already their terminologies and topics of discussion are way ahead. If we were fascinated with the mobile technology the younger ones look at drones as we did at mobile phones and are already waiting to see what else it can do, if not
they might be planning to design
on their own.
At the workshops conducted by Oman’s Future Skills the youngsters shared their experiences, brainstormed their approach to skills development and provided insights and what it would be to master soft and hard skills to succeed in a digitalised economy.
Gone are the days where we could choose a career by scanning at the three major fields — Medicine, Engineering and Information Technology. Yes of course these fields will always be needed but the question is what you can do differently with the same fields.
At the recently held forum of the Oman’s Future Skills, Her Highness Sayyida Rawan al Said, Chairperson of National Bank of Oman, who is also a panelist at Oman’s Future Skills, said there has been a lot of engagement and that is what will make the initiative a success. She said there has been engagement
from the public and private sectors and the youth.
“We do not have time to waste so things are moving very rapidly. We need to prioritise and just start it.” In the presentation the caption was ‘Our community is incomplete without you.’
And what individuals can do is visit their website (www.futureskills.om) and participate by pledging one’s support online and participate in the survey which is meant for employer and youth.
While the government aims for increase in productivity, the youth are concerned about the job opportunities and the private sector naturally would want to focus on profitability.
But the 4th Industrial Revolution is already here. Whether it is in the case of news-gathering, banking or in medicine. Artificial Intelligence has already been applied in medicine with the use of robotics in surgery for few years now. It did not take away a doctor’s job but rather the doctors upscaled their skills.
But if you go into the details, the medical practitioners are continuously learning and sharing their knowledge through regular CME — Continuing Medical Education.
As in the case of the Oman’s Future Skills pilot session which had manufacturing sector table discussion highlighting on adopting new business models based on data analytics, robotics, cyber-physical systems and cloud computing, the skills and capabilities to gain confidence to work with new technologies in a digitalised workplace.
But all this is not just for the youth, the changes in the ecosystem are also applicable for the others who are not millennials but will continue to exist in the changing environment. There can be a generation gap that might exist but can be sorted if the adaptations can be eased in. In the future age is going to be nothing but a number as more and more the asset is going to be on innovation.
Employability is a must for a successful career but employed individuals are equally important for a healthy economy. As Oman gets set to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the Sultanate’s National Day, it is the right time to look back to reflect and look ahead and visualise the future. The future belongs to all in a digital world that encompasses virtual reality, augmented reality technology and 3D printers — surrounded with Internet of Things.
We just need to reinvent ourselves. Each one of us.