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Building on its previous global studies, McKinsey has developed a paper called Future skills: Six approaches to close the skills gap which aims to propose future skills solutions in Germany that is soon expected to be short of 700,000 people possessing technological skills. In order to do so, the paper analyses over 30 running digital skills initiatives dealing with future skills in both Germany and globally.

The paper proposes methods that Germany can implement to close the future skills gap as quickly and in as targeted a way as possible. According to the main findings, some progress has been made, but there are still significant challenges when it comes to the development of the future skills needed: a lack of underlying transparency regarding future skills training options; an absence of focus among the current education programs on the needs of the future labor market, no systemic future skills training structure.

The paper covers various good practice examples from Germany and other countries such as China, Estonia, Finland, The USA, Singapore, and offer inspiration for six concrete approaches to bridge the looming future skills gap and meet the three identified challenges: 1) central future skills online platform; 2) technological skills materials and concepts to be taught at schools and universities; 3) introduction of cross-disciplinary teaching concepts for schools and universities; 4)establishment of future skills research hubs; 5) introduction of new systematic initiatives for future skills further training; 6) financial incentives for the development of future skills for businesses and freelancers.

According to the paper, implementing these proposals provides the drive needed to close the future skills gap permanently, while the economic benefit of closing the future skills gap is huge—several billion euros according to the provided estimate.


Skills intelligence publication details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
Geographical sphere
International initiative
Publication type