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World Economic Forum

Empowering Millions with Skills for the Future of Work


The three-year partnership between Tata Consultancy Services and the World Economic Forum has been a unique model for driving scale and impact on the critical issue of skills as a great equalizer while garnering business commitments to reskill and upskill 17.2 million people across the globe.

Many people describe it as the Fourth Industrial Revolution: a shift in the world economy that is transforming industries, disrupting business models, and forever changing the demands of the global labor market.

In fact, an estimated 35% of the skills required for future jobs will be fundamentally different to the skills required today – but access to the education and experience needed to earn those skills remains unequal. Deep and widening gaps prevent millions from having access to the opportunities offered by the digital economy and create a shortage of qualified applicants for millions of jobs in technology and innovations.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to help bridge that divide through the Closing the Skills Gap coalition. Created in 2017, the coalition originally had the ambition of educating or re-skilling 10 million people across the world by 2020 – but in 2019, the momentum of Closing the Skills Gap saw that ambitious goal raised to impacting 17.2 million people.

In fact, 6.4 million people in the global workforce have already been trained or retrained through the Closing the Skills Gap coalition. The initiative also leverages a virtual hub, developed by TCS, to capture measurable commitments from leading companies to train, reskill and upskill workers. The hub also serves as a repository of best practices and case studies. This dedicated online platform enabled several leading companies such as Nokia, Barclays, British Telecom, and Mercer, to make large scale commitments to skills development while sharing insights and knowledge from their own journeys.

A globally accepted skills framework provides common ground for leaders across sectors to recognize their role in developing solutions. Skilling commitments from global businesses catalyzed the need for industry to step up and take action. The country-level taskforces are now driving education and skills initiatives to prepare the local workforce, empowering people to participate in the new economy.

In 2019, WEF rolled out their national public-private partnership task forces in Argentina, India, Oman, and South Africa – and plan to expand to 10 economies by the end of 2020.

TCS also continued pursuing its own commitment to retain 1.2 million people by upskilling and reskilling its current workforce, preparing a generation of students for the future of work, and by providing access to training and education to women, marginalized, and other who might not otherwise have access to learning these essential skills.

In partnership with the World Economic Forum, TCS has business commitments to reskill and upskill 17.2 million people across the globe.

“The new world of work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly becoming a lived reality for millions of global workers and companies,” Saadia Zahidi, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Managing Board and Head of its Centre for the New Economy and Society. “The inherent opportunities for positive outcomes for workers, the economy and society are enormous, yet crucially depend on bold action from all concerned stakeholders to instigate reform in education and training systems to prepare workforces for the skills of the future. The Forum’s partnership with TCS on the Closing the Skills Gap project is one important step in catalyzing such action.”

This collaboration led to the development of an insights document that set the agenda for global leaders who are at the forefront of shaping the future of Education, Gender and Work.

Learn more at