Tommorrow's Jobs
Product wizard, imagineer, talent scout…? ‘When I was at INSEAD many moons ago, they told us that when students start university they will not have heard of some of the jobs that will be vacancies when they graduate,’ explains AHEAD partner Alexandre Paternotte de La Vaillée. ‘Today the same rings true, though in an even shorter timeframe.’ So, as we gradually emerge from the biggest recession since WW2, where will new jobs be and what form will they take?

According to McKinsey’s Global Institute, the most performant countries do not have a more favourable mix in their economies, just individual sectors that are more competitive. And while many governments are looking to manufacturing sectors as a new source of growth, service sectors continue to be necessary for job creation especially in high-income economies. With government cut-backs on the cards across Europe, public sector and other non-profit employers are no refuge.

Meanwhile new clean tech sectors are seemingly not enough to boost economywide employment and growth. ‘Certainly the big boom in ‘green jobs’ that was anticipated five years ago has not materialised here or internationally’, explains Alex.

‘In the attempt to decarbonise our economy in the coming decades, the whole energy system is in flux,’ comments Hans De Keulenaer of the European Copper Institute. ‘Electrical engineering - a relatively stagnant profession up to the early 90s - is evolving rapidly. Now there is the move to smart grids (i.e. combining communication, internet and power technology), the electrification of everything (heat, transport…) and the drive towards energy management. Electricity is at the centre of many of these trends.’ So Hans remains convinced that ‘professionals who can commit their career to sustainable energy can expect a bright future.’

A snapshot of vacancies both locally and globally support pick-up across various sectors and economies. In India, GE is creating 3,000 technology jobs and Walmart is investing heavily in Africa. Meanwhile in the US, vacancies include several hundreds at a time in sectors as diverse as insurance, retail, healthcare… In the City of London, there was an unexpected surge in recruitment earlier this year particularly in compliance and risk. UK graduate recruitment is up with consumer goods and investment banking leading the way. And AHEAD’s Brussels office notes encouraging new activity spanning various sectors this autumn.

AHEAD is a leading search firm specialising in high achievers. Headquartered in Brussels, we were formerly YESS International Brussels, created in 1990 by Egon Zehnder International.  Today AHEAD forms part of the extensive network covering Europe and beyond.
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