“Digital Labor Upskilling is a Measure of Social Protection”

• The occasion addressed key issues relating to the work of the future, focusing on digital acceleration and labor reconversion. The president of Udacity, Sebastian Thrun, announced that by the end of November they will be launching a program that will benefit 150 young people from Talento Digital to improve their skills in areas such as data science and digital and automatic learning, with which he hopes to contribute to Talento Digital’s goal of training 16,000 people between 2019 and 2022.

• The president of Sofofa, Bernardo Larraín, analyzed the sources of precariousness in Chile, and pointed out the pathway to bridge the gaps. He especially emphasized the need to escalate Talento Digital para Chile and make it a State Policy.

• The Executive Director of Talento Digital para Chile, Vladimir Glasinovic, proposed a triple vaccine to cure the pathologies suffered by the human capital in Chilean companies.

Peoples’ labor upskilling and reskilling, digital transformation as a State policy, democratization of education, and the necessary collaboration of the public and private spheres, were the main topics addressed today at the Summit “Chile, la Transformación de las Personas” (Chile, the Transformation of People); they are indispensable measures for the economic reactivation of the country. The event was particularly relevant given the context the world is currently living in, with the scenario of a pandemic that has accelerated the digital transformation in companies and institutions and consequently the demand for IT professionals. According to DNA Human Capital’s data, it has increased by 32% due to the Covid-19 health contingency.

The meeting was organized by the Program Talento Digital para Chile, and counted with the participation of Sence’s Director, Juan Manuel Santa Cruz; Bernardo Larraín, the President of Sofofa; Pablo Terrazas, Corfo’s Executive Vice President; Marcos Kulka, CEO at Fundación Chile; and Vladimir Glasinovic, Executive Director of Talento Digital, among others.

Juan Manuel Santa Cruz stated that, “From the Ministry of Labor and Sence, one of the tools we have to support unemployed people and businesses, is to provide tools, training and education.” In addition, he emphasized that the way technology has affected the way we work has been accelerated by the pandemic. “On one hand, it has destroyed some jobs, but on the other hand it has created many opportunities.”

In that context, he explained that Talento Digital consulted the companies about the challenges that their workers or those they are hiring are living, as a result of these transformations, so that from those gaps they can develop training plans and courses, and thus provide those tools so people can go out to look for work in areas that we know are currently being needed and that will probably be needed in even greater amounts.

Meanwhile, the President of Sofofa, Bernardo Larraín, analyzed the sources of precariousness that exist in Chile and that are related to inactivity and informality. “If we analyze the gaps between Chile and the OECD in terms of labor participation, these are greatest among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (approximately 15 points of difference), and greatest among women between the ages of 45 and 54, reaching 20 points. Informal labor has reached 30% of the labor force in Chile, and that is three times the percentage of informality in OECD countries, so we also have a source of inequality and poverty there. If we link these two sources of precariousness, 75% of the people transitioning from inactivity to work, do so in the informal sector.”

He also referred to the World Economic Forum report which further deepens the implications of the digital transformation on work: between 2020 and 2025, 85 million jobs will be displaced; 50% of the active workforce will be required to retrain in digital skills. “However, 97 million new jobs will be created to address a new type of interaction between people, machines, and algorithms. Therefore, there are more jobs that will be created than those that are displaced.”

Larraín stated that “The great challenge for Chile, bridge these gaps. From a restructuring point of view, to be alongside the jobs that are created rather than those that are going to be displaced. To achieve this, there are three fundamental paths. The first is to ignite the engine that will generate the jobs of the economy of the future. In addition, we must give it a boost, even if it is only temporary, so that this recovery is intensive in terms of jobs. And finally, we have to reduce the obstacles to access formal employment and connect peoples’ skills with the requirements of the work of the future.”

Human Capital Triple Vaccine

 The Talento Digital para Chile (TD) initiative brings together companies, training institutions, and government to develop new skills in people; skills that are attuned to the needs of the digital economy, thereby generating more opportunities to access quality jobs from 2019 onwards. The goal is to contribute with 16,000 trained people by 2022, aiming at a 70% success rate in their employment, self-employment, or further education, and over a thousand entrepreneurs.

So far, more than 50 thousand people have applied for the Talento Digital para Chile scholarships in their different processes. The first 1,000 graduates are currently undergoing the program’s labor intermediation stage. Women account for 41% of those registered for scholarships. 55% of them count with graduate studies completed. 75% is in the most vulnerable 60% of the population. 37% come from regions other than the Metropolitan Region. By year-end, 4,500 scholarships will have been awarded for studies aimed at converting to digital areas from programming and design, specialization for professionals, and others aimed at training digital entrepreneurs.

Its executive director, Vladimir Glasinovic, referred to the profile of the TD graduates, “There are 3 distinctive features that make them very attractive for companies: i) they have a mindset or open mind for growth, ii) they learned to learn autonomously, and iii) they are very good at collaborating.” The expert, making a parallel with the current pandemic context, invited the attendees to get vaccinated against three viruses that affect many companies and organizations, “I encourage everyone to get the triple vaccine, that is, i) the vaccine against the disease that puts way too much emphasis on university degrees, ii) the vaccine against that pathology of requesting too many years of experience for entry-level positions, iii) and the vaccine against that disease that produces a not very diverse workforce.”

The Democratization of Education

From the international experience, Sebastian Thrun, participated; he is the Chairman and Co-founder of Udacity, a platform that offers massive open online courses with over eight million students worldwide. The expert in robotics and Artificial Intelligence said that Udacity began 10 years ago aiming to democratize education and having in perspective the widespread difficulties to access top quality education such as the one offered in Stanford and Harvard. “I firmly believe that Udacity will level the playing field globally and will eliminate the advantage Silicon Valley has over many other places, and will do so by delivering the right skill sets for everyone”.

In addition, he pointed out that “digitalization is very important and is not limited to a small number of companies like Google or Amazon. It affects all companies that do business. As a company, you can improve the customer experience by using data to analyze customer behavior and desires. Often, this means hundreds of millions of dollars of value that can be realized in a short time just by acting appropriately, and turns out to be more effective and efficient. As a result, the costs of the goods and the company itself would decrease and a better job could be done, providing customers with better service for less money. If you don’t get on board, you’ll be left behind.”

Thrun announced that they will start a program that will benefit 150 young people from Talento Digital, in coordination with Sence and Corfo at the end of November through Udacity. This is to improve their skills in areas such as data science and digital and automatic learning, hoping to contribute to TD Digital’s goal of having 16,000 people trained between 2019 and 2022.

On his part, Javier Martinez Aldanondo, Spanish partner of Culture of Learning and Knowledge at Knowledge Works, and who has excelled in questioning the paradigms on which traditional education is based and studying the learning processes at the brain level, noted that “Digitalization is a process of change that currently occurs at a speed greater than the ability to learn, which implies that what is learned quickly expires. The only alternative to survive as an organization, is learning to store reusable experience in the future which is a personal process but not an individual one. Organizations learn when they connect people, it is collective.”

He emphasized the importance of redesigning learning processes to generate answers to new problems. “Machines will do things that humans do and that scares us, but that it is good news, given Artificial Intelligence forces us to be more intelligent. Computers are capable of managing a lot of information, but that does not mean they are intelligent. It’s still a long way to go before they can replace man. Machines invite us to move towards more creative work.”

Upskilling and Reskilling as a Social Protection Measure

 Andrea Tokman, Chief Economist at Quiñenco and Director of Companies, stated that, “adapting to economic changes to ensure employability, in this dynamic context, is by far the best social protection policy that can exist. We cannot just settle for any kind of job, but rather one that allows better adaptation to these future changes – which are also very unpredictable- in order to maintain this employability with this ascending trend.”

She added that, “this new changing context, where the skills required tomorrow are unknown, or where the traditional business or educational center programs are not adequate enough, reskilling and upskilling must be seen, not as the end, but as the means to maintain or acquire employability, which requires a culture of continuous learning and is not tied to one specific job or one particular worker. It is necessary to encourage positive rotation, but always with a vision of providing tools throughout a lifetime to generate upward mobility with a good social protection strategy in the case of those that fall behind.”

The activity also included 3 panels with the participation of various representatives from the public, private, and educational spheres, who addressed issues associated with the upskilling and reskilling as a measure of employment protection and economic recovery; digital talent recruitment and its paradigms; and the boot camp revolution in Chile.

Some of them were, Yolanda Martinez, IDB Representative in Chile; Cristóbal Philippi, CEO at SOFOFA Training and Employment Corporation; Mónica Retamal, Executive Director of Kodea; Hernan Araneda, Human Development Manager of Fundación Chile; Denisse Goldfarb, Chief People Officer at Walmart Chile; and Carolina García, Human Capital Agenda Director at CPC, among others.

The closing of the event was in charge of Marcos Kulka, Fundación Chile’s CEO, who stated that, “At Fundación Chile -through our different programs- we are training around 5,000 people every year. We have a large-scale challenge, that is, to reach 25,000 people annually, and hopefully in the next four years we will have trained 100,000 in all of our programs, and be able to target at least 10% of the one million people who are at high risk due to automation and who need to be retrained for future jobs.”

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