November 3, 2020

2 fast ways in which governments can upskill their workforce

In a digitally transforming world, the need to upskill and reskill is imperative and urgent. This has been CFTE’s view from its foundation, and with the global pandemic taking its toll on the world’s workforce and economies, today this view is even stronger.

The recent publication of the Jobs of the Future Report 2020 of the World Economic Forum highlights the pressing need for a big scale reskilling of our national human capital. Per the report, by 2025, companies expect to displace roughly 6% of their total workforce, 1 in 2 workers will need reskilling, and those remaining in their current roles will need to update 40% of their skillset to adapt to the changing labour market.

With such prospects, how do we approach reskilling and upskilling at such a scale? Who is responsible for it? The individual, the employer, the government? At CFTE, we believe that impact at scale must start with the alignment of each of them: working with governments, the organisation, the individuals, and making sure that each of them is involved. In 2020 more than ever, we would like to highlight the involvement of one: the government.

At CFTE we work at the government level to deliver impact at scale

Governments have the responsibility and resources to ensure their citizens are prepared for the future of work. Ensuring this requires a long term strategy, but in the face of a global recession, governments must act fast. We are very proud to work with various governmental institutions to upskill at scale. These are 2 fast ways governments can upskill their workforce based on our experience:

1. Subsidising courses

With people becoming redundant or finding themselves with some more spare time as cities lock down to contain the virus, more and more people have taken up online courses, programmes and certifications. This is a relatively easy way for professionals to upskill from their homes on topics ranging from coding to marketing and artificial intelligence.

However, the ranging price of these online programmes, which can go from being free to over the thousands, can make online courses be out of consideration or even unattainable for some. Government subsidies to enrol in online courses provided by third parties can make upskilling both more affordable and attractive to its workforce – and its implementation is quick.

The leading example of this approach to upskilling at scale is Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced in April a $125 million “support package for the financial and FinTech sectors to deal with the immediate challenges from COVID-19 and position strongly for the recovery and future growth”. Part of this package goes to subsidizing courses with a SkillFuture accreditation, up to 95% subsidies in some instances. Thanks to our accreditations, CFTE courses are available to Singapore citizens and permanent residents at a subsidized rate

2. Co-creating programmes between third parties and governmental training arms

Some governments are investing in co-creating upskilling programmes with third parties through their funded training arms. This way, they can ensure the creation of the type of upskilling programmes mostly needed in their country. CFTE works with many governments that operate in this manner.

This is the case for Hungary. The Budapest Institute of Banking (BIB) is the training arm of the Central Bank of Hungary. CFTE was entrusted by BIB to train the Central Bank in Artificial Intelligence in Finance. Today, BIB and CFTE’ have co-developed the Payments in Digital Finance specialisation to be released this December 2020. Our partnership’s goal is to make an impact on the professionals in digital finance in all the central and eastern markets.

In Hong Kong the approach is similar. There Cyberport is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong SAR Government and an innovative digital community with over 1500 startups and technology companies. Cyberport is now the flagship for Hong Kong’s digital technology industry, and we are proud to be their partner.

Through our Hong Kong partnership with Cyberport, signed last year, CFTE agreed to train over 1500 in financial services in 2020 through our series of workshops, seminars and executive learning series. They are part of the “Cyberport Financial Practitioners Fintech Training Programme” – an upskilling programme of financial institutions in Hong Kong. The goal is to train finance professionals on all the technologies and innovations behind the digital transformation of the industry, positioning Hong Kong at the forefront of this change. CFTE has agreed to train over 1000 professionals in 2020, and we will be hosting the largest virtual graduation ceremony on the 5th of November during the Hong Kong Fintech Week.

Luxembourg and Abu Dhabi are other examples of this approach. Last year, we helped set up the Luxemburg Academy of Digital Finance with our partners in the Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT). The aim is to train all the finance professionals in fintech and digital finance. The Fintech Entrepreneurship Programme between CFTE and LHoFT is catered for people unemployed or looking for opportunities to grow their mindset or launch a start-up. 

In the UAE, ADGMA, the education arm for ADGM, the regulator of Abu Dhabi, has signed with CFTE to upskill the MENA region in digital finance and to make the UAE AI-first with a programme co-created between CFTE & ADGM Academy

Upskilling the workforce is a national emergency

Without the support and encouragement of governments, upskilling at scale is very likely not to reach the levels necessary to face the drastic changes in the industries. This can leave as many as millions of professionals, workers and even recent graduates unprepared to compete in the newly shaping workforces of the future – with a direct effect on the country’s economy. Whatever the approach, CFTE can help upskill your finance professionals.


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