Is reskilling the key to the robot revolution?

The World Economic Forum recently published a report exploring the job market in response to the rise of machines and automation. They said 85 million jobs could be eliminated by 2025 but they expect 97 million new jobs to be created, meaning an increase of 12 million new job opportunities.

The world has been on track to adopt AI and automation, what we’ve seen this year is that the impact of the pandemic has accelerated this need while businesses have had to adapt to digital delivery during lockdowns. There’s been a huge surge in demand for robots due to COVID-19 as they can be a more medically wise option from robots in healthcare, to delivering takeaways.

While looking at the stats it’s easy to wonder how it’s possible to adapt to such changes, but what also needs consideration is the introduction of a new field. Companies that adopt AI will also need to create dedicated departments to manage it. To create and manage algorithms, more highly skilled professionals will need to be recruited.

Word-based learning news site, Further Education News explain that “the workforce is automating faster than expected, half of all work tasks will be handled by machines by 2025, the most competitive businesses will be those that choose to reskill and upskill current employees.” The World Economic Forum support this stance as they believe upskilling can balance the impact of the pandemic for both economic and global growth.

Expert in skills and career evolution, Dr Naeema Pasha supports the need for upskilling and explains the “need to develop a new ‘meta-skillset’ fit for these times, and which offers a balance and blend of tech and human skills…there will be a need for greater skills in tech- including quantitative and analytical skills.” Key human skills are still vital to this model, with the focus to include resilience, critical thinking, empathy and compassion. There will be a need to work at both individual and organisational level to meet this demand and create an appropriate structure for learning to happen. What will be necessary is collaborations from governments, academia and businesses to help create these opportunities for learning. The World Economic Forum look at this as an opportunity for growth, collaboration and research. They highlight the success of pilot programmes such as Shimmy, a New York based fashion technology company who introduced AI and data to reskill their workforce. They used a people-first approach despite the common belief that the reskilling process can be difficult for workers with limited exposure to technology however found success in this method.

The “future of work” is already here with the emerging themes that will help businesses connect the old to the new.

Top 3 skills needed for 2025:
  • Analytical thinking
  • Creativity, and
  • Flexibility

Top 3 emerging professions for 2025:
  • Data and artificial intelligence
  • Content creation, and
  • Cloud computing 

These skills and emerging trends are not only useful for determining the best way to re-skill your current workforce but also a way to highlight key talent in future recruitment of fresh graduates. To tap into this pool of graduate talent with access to a global database, register today for access to the top educated international students and graduates with GradLink, for free.

By Jen Garmston Published: Nov 05,2020