Future of Work Mujica

‘Inexperienced workers have the most to gain in terms of productivity when it comes to leveraging generative AI’

Reflections on the big issues shaping our workforce in the coming year from our WorkingNation Advisory Board

We asked our WorkingNation Advisory Board to share their thoughts on the most important issues and challenges facing the workforce and the labor market in 2024.

Hector Mujica leads the economic opportunity portfolio at Google.org, which provides grants aimed at providing pathways to digital economy jobs for people with barriers to employment. 

Here are his thoughts on The Future of Work 2024.

“In 2023, the workforce development ecosystem underwent significant transformations, addressing some of the perennial challenges that have long hindered its efficiency. One of the central concerns has been the gap between the skills employers seek and those possessed by job seekers and workers.

“We witnessed a concerted effort by educational institutions, corporate training programs, and online learning platforms to bridge this gap. Tailored training programs, increased emphasis on soft skills, and partnerships between academia and industry have begun to align the skills of the workforce with market demands.

“One bright spot is Google.org grantee CodePath, which is working diligently to ensure that curriculum being offered in university classrooms, particularly to historically underserved students, matches the competencies tech employers are looking for. And for STARs (those Skilled Through Alternative Routes), we continue to bet big on programs like the Google Career Certificate Fund, which is working with providers like Merit America to train learners for roles in a range of in-demand fields like IT Support.

“Progress in workforce development is evident. Yet, there are areas where progress lags, particularly in addressing the needs of marginalized communities and ensuring equal access to upskilling opportunities. That’s why I remain committed to ensuring that we empower more minority-led and serving workforce development institutions like the Hispanic Federation to reach more individuals with the skills they need, alongside the right cultural adaptations to make the content breakthrough.

“Looking ahead to 2024, the focus should be on innovative solutions that further inclusivity in the workforce. This includes leveraging emerging technologies like generative AI in meaningful ways to ensure more learners can be served at scale.

“Generative AI has unimaginable potential, and it is already proving that inexperienced workers have the most to gain in terms of productivity when it comes to leveraging generative AI. Continuing to invest in generative AI solutions that are unbiased and can help learners will not only boost reach, but it will also enhance the productivity of the workforce development ecosystem as a whole.

“While 2023 marked a year of progress in workforce development, with notable strides in aligning skills with employer needs, the journey towards a truly inclusive and equitable workforce is ongoing. The year 2024 presents unique opportunities to address these challenges through innovative technical solutions, fostering an ecosystem where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.”

Read more from our WorkingNation Advisory Board members on The Future of Work 2024.