The Caterpillar Foundation is partnering with MIT Solve on the Future of Work in India and Indonesia Challenge to identify and support workforce development solutions that can lead to the digital upskilling and reskilling of the Indian and Indonesian populations.
The workforces of India and Indonesia, much like the rest of the world, are increasingly susceptible to major changes driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution — changes that have been exacerbated by the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. By 2030, automation is expected to displace an estimated 23 million jobs in Indonesia, and nearly 70 percent of jobs in formal employment could be automated in India during the same period — including 12 million jobs held by women. However, if harnessed successfully, automation, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, digital transformations, and other technology-driven innovations are expected to create more jobs over the next decade than are eliminated. These innovations have the potential to create jobs for at least 90 million workers and up to 46 million workers in India and Indonesia, respectively.
These technological transformations pose significant challenges and opportunities for employers and workers alike: manufacturers across industries must respond to rapidly evolving markets in order to remain competitive, while workers must be able to adapt and learn new skillsets in order to participate in the labor market and create prosperous livelihoods for themselves. The pandemic has accelerated the urgent need to bridge the skills gap by upskilling the existing workforce to meet industry demands and preparing the next generation of workers with the skills required to participate in the digitally-driven economy of the future.
The Challenge is seeking innovative solutions that will:
- Equip existing workers in India and Indonesia with country-appropriate and culturally-relevant digital literacy skills and vocational training opportunities
- Connect the skills of the Indian and Indonesian workforces to the demands of employers
- Increase and leverage the participation of underserved communities in India and Indonesia — especially women, low-income, and remote groups — in the creation, development, and deployment of new technologies, jobs, and industries.
Finalists will be invited to a pitch event to present their solutions in front of distinguished judges. A total pool of $395,000 in prize funding is available for selected winners of the Challenge. In addition to funding, each Challenge winner will participate in a six-month tailored support program run by MIT Solve and the Caterpillar Foundation that will include:
A comprehensive needs assessment to determine what resources and support are most appropriate in order to accelerate your impact;
- Access to a network of resource partners, mentors, and coaches across industries and sectors;
- Learning and development modules aimed at refining your business model, theory of change, and plans for scaling;
- Participation in Solve’s annual flagship Solve at MIT event (held in May each year);
- A monitoring and evaluation track to support in building an impact measurement practice; and
- A peer-to-peer network to build a community of practice with dedicated spaces to convene throughout the duration of the support program