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Everyone is talking about the future of work and how innovation is displacing traditional jobs, workplaces and business models. With technology taking over most processes, there is an increasing need for humans to become more skilled, efficient and ten times faster at everything they do. In fact, experts suggest that 45% of tasks workers perform can be automated using current technology. So, what is causing this gap and what do the statistics say? Let’s take a look…

The skills gap is a challenge that is impacting the growth and sustainability of most businesses across the world. The core issue driving the skills gap is the fact that there is a mismatch in skills being learnt within the educational system and the skills required by employers and jobs. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that are causing this widening gap:

  1. Technology and human transformation: Developments in technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, genetics and biotechnology are enabling us to tackle problems ranging from supply chain management to climate change. Experts at the World Economic Forum have cited that the following technologies will have a major impact on t jobs between 2018 to 2020: robotics, AI, advanced materials, biotechnology and autonomous transport. Considering this rapid tech advancement, there is a growing concern whether there will be enough jobs for the future workforce. With 57% of jobs vulnerable to automation, this is a real concern. Contrary to popular belief, companies of the future will be plugged into technologies such as cloud computing, data analytics, cognitive scanning and internet of things, allowing them to generate plenty of new jobs. This means that while technologies will destroy many jobs, they will also create plenty of new ones. Examples of such roles include smart city planners, neuro-technicians, mind-hackers, neuro-robotic engineers, privacy gurus and genetic modification experts.

  2. Closing the gender gap: One of the powerful shifts in the profiles of jobs of the future will be the narrowing gender gap. As women move to the forefront, there will be more job roles catering to females and hence there is a need for skilled women to take up these jobs. Job roles are increasingly requiring emotional intelligence, which women are scientifically proven to be better at.

  3. Skills of the future: Deloitte and MIT researchers report that 70% of leaders believe they need a new combination of talent and skills. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum ranks the following as the top four skills of 2020: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativityand people management. It is interesting to note these are skills that are hard to automate as humans outperform machines in these areas. The jobs of the future will be defined to a large extent by intellectual and imaginative skills. With routine jobs being streamlined using technology, the focus will be on jobs that are driven by human intelligence and personalised skills. Pushing creative boundaries will be integral to new job roles. For instance, fashion designers in the future will be need to integrate the power of 3D printing and virtual reality to create immersive designs that outpace competition.

  4. The modern workplace: Work is changing and so are workplaces of the future. Digital communications have made remote work commonplace. Advances in AI and robotics are changing the concept of a conventional workplace. Workplaces of the future will be run – not just by full-time employees – but by the combination of employees, freelancers, suppliers, robots and crowdsourced talent. This means that workers entering the workforce over the next few years will need to be more agile, flexible, entrepreneurial and creative.

  5. Investments in industries of the future: On an industry level, new technologies will have an impact on sectors such energy, transport and financial services. Disruptive changes to industry sectors are reconfiguring business models and skill sets—and will do so at an accelerated pace in the next five years. Our focus should be on today’s workforce and talent strategies and how they can contribute to successfully manage this transition.

The global picture

The numbers support these facts –

CEO point of view

  • 78% of global CEOs are implementing changes to their talent strategies
  • By the end of 2020, businesses will cut down their office spaces by 17%
  • 3 out of 10 employees are happy to give employers access to their data
  • 81% believe that they will face talent scarcity over the next 12 months
  • 79% believe technology adoption in their companies will improve retention and engagement of employees

Flexible working

  • mobile employees have increased by 50% as of 2020
  • 46% of HR professionals foresee temporary workers making up 20% of their workforce by 2022
  • 77% of employees believe that flexible working hours makes them more productive
  • 63% already have a formal flexibility policy in place
  • 50% of the workforce will constitute of freelancers by the end of 2020

Automation in the workplace

  • Robots in the workplace will create 2 million jobs over the next eight years
  • 45% of human-led activities can be automated

(Sources: Citrix Workplace of the Future Report, PwC, Sodexo, Mercer, Deloitte, BCG and Randstad Sourceright)


Autor(en)/Author(s): Rushika Bhatia

Quelle/Source: SME10X, 16.02.2020

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