The rapid revolution of robots has transformed the workplace and changed the way humans work alongside machines and algorithms. Latest research from the World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2025, machines are going to do more tasks than humans. By the next seven years, more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines as opposed to 29 percent today.
While such transformation is expected to affect the global labour force, the total number of new jobs outlook is positive as the sharp increase of robots involvement in the workplace will create new roles for humans. WEF estimated that the expansion of machine in the workplace will create 133 million new jobs by 2022 compared to 75 million that will be displaced.
In its report of The Future of Jobs 2018 published on Monday (Sept 17), the research highlighted the potential of new technologies to disrupt and create jobs. It found that while nearly half of companies surveyed expected their full-time workers to shrink by 2022 as a result of automation, almost 40 percent planned to extend their workforce generally. Meanwhile, more than a quarter expected automation to create new roles in their enterprise.
The study noted that urgent challenges faced by global employers in preparing their workforce for this revolution include providing reskilling opportunities, enabling remote work, as well as building safety nets to protect at-risk workers and communities. About 54 percent employees of large companies would need significant re- and up-skilling in order to grab growing opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, just over half of companies surveyed in the research said they planned to reskill only those employees that are in key roles while only one third planned to reskill at-risk workers.
See: People around the World Fears Massive Job Losses from Automation: Pew Research Center
Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab said, “It is critical that business take an active role in supporting their existing workforces through reskilling and upskilling, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning, and that governments create an enabling environment to facilitate this workforce transformation. This is the key challenge of our time.”
All industries expect to have sizable skills gaps, with the aviation, travel and tourism industry projected to have the highest reskilling needs in the 2018-2022 timeframe, the study found. Skills gaps are also a particular concern in the information & communication technology, financial services & investors, and mining & metals industries. The broad mobility sector is least likely to look to reskill their current employees, while business leaders in the global health & healthcare, chemistry, advanced materials & biotechnology sectors are most likely to retrain their workers.
Talents with tech skills such as data analysis and science, software and applications development, as well as ecommerce and social media expertise are forecasted be highly sought-after. Roles that leverage distinctly ‘human skills,’ such as sales and marketing professions, innovation managers and customer service workers, are also set to experience increasing demand. On the other hand, jobs expected to become redundant include routine-based white-collar roles, such as data entry clerks, accounting and payroll clerks.
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