Programs for business mentoring and training must strike a balance between technical and soft skills, according to an expert.

This is to develop a well-rounded skillset geared toward future-proofing professionals for complex challenges and building strong client relationships, Nalakumar Rs, vice president at Telus International Digital Solutions, said in an e-mailed interview transcript on Thursday.

Mr. Rs further noted that high-demand technical skills include data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and cloud computing.

Soft skills include critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and effective communication.

“One of the main challenges is aligning the curriculum with the dynamic nature of the industry,” he said on integrating business mentoring into existing school curricula. 

“To address this, businesses must actively collaborate with educational institutions to identify the skills in high demand,” he added.

“It’s crucial to establish a feedback loop to continuously update the curriculum, ensuring it remains relevant and meets the emerging needs of the industry.”

He also noted that practical industry insights, hands-on experience, and specialized skill development can be provided by and supplemented through the integration — a testament to innovation. 

“Innovative mentoring and training initiatives play a crucial role in addressing the skills gap,” he said. 

“Through these initiatives, emerging professionals gain exposure to real-world scenarios, industry best practices, and the latest technological trends, enabling them to become valuable assets for clients with evolving digital needs.”

A report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that around 20.1% of workers face a ‘high risk’ of losing their jobs, while 15.7% have a ‘medium risk.’

In its “Reimagine Tech-Inclusive Education: Evidence, Practices, and Road Map” report, the ADB said jobs involving repetitive tasks or those that are easily codified are more likely to be automated, such as jobs in manufacturing, data entry, and some service industries. 

“Emerging technologies offer exciting opportunities to enhance mentoring and training initiatives,” Mr. Rs said on utilizing AI, machine learning algorithms, and blockchain technology for upskill purposes, citing different use cases. 

“By embracing these technologies, organizations can make their mentoring and training programs more effective, efficient, and scalable.” — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola