Article

The AI upskilling imperative for Financial Services

Building a future-ready workforce for the AI age

Data-driven decision making is crucial to organizations’ survival today and success tomorrow. Leaders are making investments in AI, analytics, automation, and digitization, but the opportunities of digital transformation also bring new challenges. Employers are struggling to attract, recruit and retain people with the skills needed to help organizations succeed in a digitized, automated, AI-driven world.

COVID-19 has also shown us how quickly work itself can change. More than three million jobs were lost in Canada in the first two months of the pandemic-driven economic shutdown, a decline far greater than seen in any of the three major recessions since 1980.1 Many of us are now working and collaborating remotely, some for the very first time. All of us will be building our careers in this post-COVID-19 world. Adaptability, flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning will be vital, especially as companies and entire industries reposition themselves in a highly digital, data-driven new world and search for the talent that will help them succeed.2

It’s time for companies and individuals to embrace the upskilling imperative.

For companies, upskilling enables them to build a future-ready workforce; for individuals, it’s a way to keep their skills relevant and stay future-ready themselves. Making deliberate, significant investments in learning will ensure organizations and employees alike have the knowledge, skills, and capabilities needed to work effectively in a digital future—and to build and consume AI-powered insights.

Read The upskilling imperative to explore why organizations need to invest in upskilling today.

Any organization’s upskilling journey must begin with a clear sense of where the journey begins and where it ends — or at least the direction of travel. Download the infographic, A roadmap to building a future-ready workforce for the AI age, to help you get started.

Acknowledgments

Audrey Ancion
Analytics Experience Lead, Analytics


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1. Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, April 2020. https://www150.statcan.
gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200508/dq200508a-eng.htm. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

2. Bernard Marr, “8 Job Skills To Succeed In A Post-Coronavirus World.” https://
www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/04/17/8-job-skills-to-succeed-in-apost-coronavirus-world/#1459257d2096. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

The upskilling imperative  
                        A roadmap to building a future-ready workforce for the AI age
                        
                        By 2031, the World Economic Forum estimates that 80% of new jobs will require AI-literacy. How can financial institutions get ready to fill these AI roles? 
                        
                        Adopting an upskilling strategy enables financial institutions to build a future-ready workforce by making deliberate, significant investments. This strategy must begin with a clear sense of where the upskilling journey begins and where it ends — or at least the direction of travel. The roadmap below should help you get started.  
                        
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                        The first step: Assess where you are and decide where you want to go
                        1.	Understand your business strategy and determine what you need AI for
                        2.	Develop a future-state AI vision and the related talent strategy
                        3.	Conduct a skills assessment
                        4.	Run a learning-needs assessment.
                        5.	Create a learning strategy and roadmap
                        
                        The second step: Design data-driven experiential learning
                        Whatever learning investments you make have to be anchored in your conceptual and active data. But using your data to build experiential learning opportunities – with an emphasis on practice, real-world application, and repetition – will create deeper understanding and ability to apply new knowledge than traditional “classroom” learning.  
                        
                        
                        Apply: The ability to use facts, rules, concepts and ideas in new situations
                        Understand: Constructing meaning from concepts through interpreting, exemplifying, summarizing, and explaining
                        Remember: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory
                        
                        
                        Repetition and sustainment
                        
                        Concept and theories
                        Active experimentation
                        Concrete experimentation
                        Reflection and review
                        
                        The third step: Make learning stick
                        1.	People: If a financial institution upskills its talent but neglects its culture and mindset, all that investment may go to waste. 
                        a.	Build optimism and understanding at all levels
                        b.	Prepare leaders for data-based decision making
                        c.	Create interdisciplinary teams
                        d.	Re-examine HR policies
                        e.	Foster lifelong learning
                        2.	Technology: Financial Institutions will only meet their full upskilling potential with the right technical and data infrastructure in place.
                        3.	Process: It’s time to embrace a new, more agile way of working.
                        a.	Use a “test and learn” mentality
                        b.	Rethink levels of accountability
                        c.	Reevaluate KPIs

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