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How Automation Will Alter the Jobs Landscape

Source | LinkedIn : By Scott A. Scanlon

In the coming workplace revolution, the desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable will be the great equalizer. Where do you fit in?

Rarely a day goes by without news of digitization, artificial intelligence and virtual reality impacting the workplace. Business leaders, politicians and economists want to quantify technology’s impact on employment — but no one knows for sure what the outcome will be.

Plenty has been written predicting the future: more jobs, different jobs, less jobs, temp jobs, even no jobs. But few prognosticators are telling us that they we will need new skills and we will need to hone them more often to stay employable for jobs we may not even have heard of yet. Talk about the proverbial sticky wicket.

According to ManpowerGroup’s new report, ‘The Skills Revolution,’ one in five employers (19 percent) expect technological disruption to increase jobs as they adapt to the future of work and six in 10 employers (64 percent) expect to maintain headcount if people have the right skills and are prepared to learn, apply and adapt. The report polled 18,000 employers across all sectors in 43 countries.

“In this skills revolution, learnability – the desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable – will be the great equalizer,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup chairman and chief executive officer. “The rise in populism and the polarization of the workforce continues to play out in front of our eyes.”

It’s time to take immediate action to upskill and reskill employees to address the gaps between the haves and the have nots – those that have the right skills and those that are at risk of being left behind, said Mr. Prising. “We also need to draw in those that are not fully participating in the workforce. That’s what we mean by the emergence of a ‘skills revolution.’”

Faster and Different: Skills Disruption Like Never Before 

Up to 45 percent of the tasks people are paid to do each day could be automated with current technology. Of course we have all adapted to the evolution of the labor market before — from tellers to customer service representatives, typists to word processors and personal assistants. Disrupting, destroying, redistributing and recreating work is nothing new.

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