Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation (Rosatom) has urged the world leaders in different fields to work on human-centric solutions that can help bridge the widening skills gap and meet the worsening shortage of talent across the globe. These factors account for 6 per cent loss in world’s GDP. Likhachev, the head of one of the world’s biggest nuclear energy technology providers, was speaking at a roundtable event at SPIEF ’19 (St. Petersburg International Economic Forum) held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg recently, said a press release. “Free trade has been good for the world economy but the rapid pace of globalisation and the digital revolution have left many behind. Now is the time to act, so nobody will be left behind,” Likhachev said. “Not a single company, not a single state, not even the largest one in the world can change the labour market culture on its own. To avoid wasting time, we need the Kazan WorldSkills Conference in August to agree on a roadmap to enact a set of human-centred principles to solve this pressing skills gap issue,” he added. He proposed the five human-centred principles. First one is ‘Skills of the future’ that means that everyone should be equipped with future proof basic skills – including cognitive, social, cultural and digital. Secondly, ‘self-sustainability’, which stipulates that everyone has the right to follow a unique and individual career path during their entire professional development. Third one is, ‘skills liquidity’ that calls for making information on job vacancies easily accessible around the world; employees hired only on skills and experience, regardless of education, gender, race, social status or physical health. Fourth, ‘labor market transparency’, which means labour mobility, flexible and remote ‘virtual’ employment should be available to all, regardless of current place of residence. Fifth and the final one is ‘diversity of values’, means that the workplace and working conditions should support the professional and personal development of each employee, regardless of their values and beliefs.Vladislav Boutenko, Senior Partner Managing Director and Chairman, BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Russia, also echoed similar sentiments. He said, “In the course of the research that we are conducting for this project, it has been possible to establish that more than a billion people are currently suffering from a qualifications mismatch – that means they are either under or over qualified for the work they do. We can, therefore, no longer delay in finding a solution to the 'skills gap'. I am confident that the problem will be solved in the mid-term if the education system and the labour market adopt the new human-centred concept, spearheaded by the initiative." The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which has been taking place in St. Petersburg since 1997, and under the auspices of the Russian President since 2005. Each year, more than 10,000 people from over 120 different countries take part in the event. This year the Forum was also inaugurated by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.