ABSL: Learning, adaptation, and digital skills are essential for employment in the next twenty years

//ABSL: Learning, adaptation, and digital skills are essential for employment in the next twenty years

Press Release

February 16 th, 2024

ABSL: Learning, adaptation, and digital skills are essential for employment in the next twenty years

 In 2007, the first companies in the business services industry were launched on the Romanian market. Since then, the digital revolution has changed the labour market, and it is estimated that one in two employees globally will need professional retraining. The business services industry is actively engaged in these transformations, and employees in this sector are more likely to adapt and develop in response to the evolving demands of the labour market over the next twenty years.

According to the International Economic Forum, the digital revolution in recent years has caused the disappearance of 5 million jobs globally, with an estimated 85 million jobs set to be transformed or disappear in the coming period. According to the same organization, 42% of working hours will be done with the assistance of automation/digitalization, and one out of every two employees will require professional retraining.

According to the ABSL report from the end of last year, financial services, IT, and HR are the most frequently provided services by companies in the business services industry, having the capacity to create added value and maintain Romania’s competitive position in the region.

Financial services will experience an upward trend, leading to an increase in the number of employees in this field. In the coming years, there will be a growing demand for financial analysts specialized in data analysis. Additionally, most positions in financial departments are expected to require solid knowledge of blockchain technology, which is currently not widely explored. Furthermore, a continued growth in demand for specialists in fields such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity is anticipated, leading to the ongoing development of skills for professionals in these fields. Also, those aiming for a career in HR within the business services industry will increasingly require enhanced digital skills, as a range of processes, including payroll, benefits management, employee performance evaluation, and even recruitment processes are set to be fully automated.

Based on data from the National Institute of Statistics, there is a significant demand for highly skilled labour, indicating that the number of qualified individuals is expected to increase by 60% between 2018 and 2030.

Moreover, the 2023 ABSL report highlights that the foremost professional criteria for employment in the future will be technical knowledge, followed by digital skills, and knowledge of foreign languages.

“In recent years, there has been increasingly more talk about soft skills. By 2030, over 60% of future job requirements will focus on these competencies. Creativity, teamwork, and embracing diversity will be paramount over the next ten years, as well as empathy towards others. Additionally, according to experts, candidates seeking well-paid positions will need a well-defined professional development plan to focus on, a good understanding of the organization and its culture, as well as the industry, and last but not least, self-confidence”, says Cristian Cilibiu, ABSL representative.

According to ABSL, in the next 5-10 years, we will witness a clear trend towards work flexibility. This trend is already being felt, with the concept of contingent workforce becoming increasingly relevant, embraced both by specialists and by Generation Z, who value flexibility. As outlined in the ABSL report, 14% of industry employees are under 25 years old, while 67% are between 25 and 40 years old.

“We will see an increasing number of employees and experts who are no longer willing to commit to long-term contracts. People who, after a long corporate experience, desire more flexibility. They will choose short-term jobs/projects. Similar behaviours are observed in the younger generation, which seeks more leisure time, moves more rapidly from one job to another, and shows less attachment to a long-term employer. For employers, accommodating these needs is not easy at all because it means a major change in the work model, work organization, and organizational culture. However, it comes with the benefit of accessing this pool of candidates that employers greatly need”, says Cătălina Magui, HR Director, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, a member company of ABSL.

ABSL specialists consider that Generation Z needs a better process for acquiring practical, applied, and up-to-date skills that meet the demands of the job market, adapting school programs to the current times, placing more emphasis on experimentation versus theory, engaging in applied project work, providing authentic facilitation and career counseling from an earlier stage.

“Growing professionals in this industry and keeping them in Romania is the guarantee for our future. Improving the education system requires extensive time and should be a priority for any government. ABSL has two initiatives in this regard: career counselling for high school students and adapting university curricula to the needs of the business environment, a project dedicated to students and professors. However, private initiatives cannot fully substitute or replace a centralized project for adapting education to current and future economic requirements”, says Cătălin Iorgulescu, ABSL Vice President.

Currently, over 200,000 employees work in the business services industry, with an estimated 10% increase expected by the end of this year.