TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work

To future-proof citizens' ability to work, they will require new skills - but which ones? A survey of 18,000 people in 15 countries suggests those that governments may wish to prioritize.

We know that digital and AI technologies are transforming the world of work and that today's workforce will need to learn new skills and learn to continually adapt as new occupations emerge. We also know that the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated this transformation. We are less clear, however, about the specific skills tomorrow's workers will require.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute has looked at the kind of jobs that will be lost, as well as those that will be created, as automation, AI, and robotics take hold. And it has inferred the type of high-level skills that will become increasingly important as a result. The need for manual and physical skills, as well as basic cognitive ones, will decline, but demand for technological, social and emotional, and higher cognitive skills will grow.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Return-to-Work Programs Come of Age

Companies can benefit from hiring mid-career professionals who've taken a break.

During the past few years Amazon has been experimenting with programs to recruit mid-career professionals who've spent a few years away from the workforce. Like most other companies, the online retailer started out small, hiring a few dozen people at a time in pilot cohorts. But in June 2021 Amazon made a stunning announcement: It would expand its return-to-work initiative by hiring 1,000 returning professionals - an order of magnitude larger than any other company's program. Each participant would be given coaching and mentoring as part of the paid 16-week program, with potential to land a permanent position at its conclusion. "We've formed a dedicated team that recruits specifically for professionals who are restarting their careers," says Alex Mooney, Amazon's senior diversity talent acquisition program manager. And instead of looking skeptically at resume gaps or skills that may need refreshing, Amazon's recruiters are directed to focus on each candidate's potential.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

She's the Investor Guru for Online Creators

Li Jin, 31, began backing creators years ago. She has raised her own fund to invest in influencer-related start-ups.

Cody Ko, a YouTube star with 5.7 million subscribers, found himself in a pickle in May. Two different start-ups wanted to give him stock, and he was concerned that they were potentially competitive deals.

So Mr. Ko called someone he trusted for advice: Li Jin.

Ms. Jin, a venture capitalist, suggested that Mr. Ko, 30, be honest and upfront with the founders of both start-ups about the potential conflict of interest. He agreed and ended up pursuing just one of the deals.

"I'd never hesitate to reach out to her if I needed something," he said of Ms. Jin.

If there is such a thing as an It Girl in venture capital these days, Ms. Jin, 31, would fill the bill. She sits at the intersection of start-up investing and the fast-growing ecosystem of online creators, both of which are red hot. And while she formed her own venture firm, Atelier Ventures, just last year and has raised a relatively small $13 million for a fund, Ms. Jin was among the first investors in Silicon Valley to take influencers seriously and has written about and backed creators for years.

A Harvard graduate who was inspired by the ideas of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, Ms. Jin is also aggressively pro-worker.

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