The vast majority of jobs will require qualifications by 2020, Northern Ireland's Employment and Learning Minister warned today.
The skills and talents of our workforce will become even more important in the years ahead with 90% of jobs needing qualifications, Sir Reg Empey added.
A revised strategy for Northern Ireland, 'Success through Skills 2' was published for consultation today.
Sir Reg said: "The reality is that the jobs in our labour market are changing.
"They rely more and more on people's knowledge and how they can add value."
He added that the recent downturn had taken its toll on Northern Ireland economically and socially.
"However, by committing to a continuous process of increasing our skills levels, we can, and indeed must, build a modern, knowledge-based workforce that will set ourselves apart from other regions and countries.
"Only then can we be positioned to make the most of the opportunities created as a result of the economic upturn."
The strategy looks at Northern Ireland's current skills base, examines the skills needed to grow the Northern Ireland economy in the future and highlights areas for action.
It is forecast that within the next 10 years as many as 52% of candidates will require qualifications at level 4 and above.