Automation, primarily in the form of robotics and artificial intelligence, brings with it the promise of improved productivity and higher profits — but at what cost to employment and, by extension, to society? What responsibility do corporations have to reskill employees who otherwise would be displaced by technology? And what value does reskilling offer an organisation?
Four out of five CEOs bemoaned their employees’ lack of essential skills and identified this factor as a threat to growth (see Exhibit 1). That concern has risen in line with the advent of new technologies over the past five years, and is voiced consistently across all regions: CEOs in Japan and Central/Eastern Europe are most worried, with 95% and 89%, respectively, naming it as a concern, whereas those in Italy (55%) and Turkey (45%) are the least anxious about it. The skills shortage stymies growth chiefly because it stifles innovation and raises workforce costs (see Exhibit 2).
There has been a clear shift over the past few years in the type of skills that leaders say they are looking for. In 2008, CEOs were struggling to find people with global experience. Today, organisations desperately need tech-savvy leaders and employees. In other words, at every level of the hierarchy, people are needed who can harness innovative thinking, form the right strategies and apply the systems and tools that best fit the needs of the business.
Focus on reskilling
With the right skills in scarce supply, CEOs must find cost-effective ways of sourcing what they need. Previous surveys have shown CEOs exploring the idea of hiring people from other sectors — particularly from industries that are further along the innovation journey — and making use of ‘gig economy’ workers when appropriate. This year’s survey sees a shift. CEOs are now focussed on reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce (see Exhibit 3).
The World Economic Forum estimates that it will cost US$24,000 per head to reskill displaced US workers, but when set against the alternatives — severance payments for workers who are let go and the cost of nding new workers with in- demand skills, amongst other things — reskilling is the more attractive option.
It’s understandable that organisations are concentrating on reskilling. Given the right context, people can be highly adaptable, and the ability of organisations to harness that adaptability will be critical as the world of work evolves. The good news is that employees are more than willing to reskill. According to a PwC global survey of more than 12,000 workers, employees are happy to spend two days per month on training to upgrade their digital skills, if such training is o ered by their employer.
Reskilling – CEOs are now focussed on reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce says PWC’s 22nd CEO Survey
Automation, primarily in the form of robotics and artificial intelligence, brings with it the promise of improved productivity and higher profits — but at what cost to employment and, by extension, to society? What responsibility do corporations have to reskill employees who otherwise would be displaced by technology? And what value does reskilling offer an … Continue reading
From switchboard operator to film projectionist, three industrial revolutions down and we’ve already seen many jobs wiped from the face of the Earth. Emerging technology is rapidly dispensing P45s, pink slips or termination letters to the next round of workers. More than half the global labour force will need to start reskilling and reinventing how … Continue reading
Reskilling and The Future of Work in US – $24,800 per displaced worker, with $4.7 billion from the private sector to reskill 25% of all workers in disrupted jobs
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts skills, tasks and jobs, there is growing concern that both job displacement and talent shortages will impact business dynamism and societal cohesion. A proactive and strategic effort is needed on the part of all relevant stakeholders to manage reskilling and upskilling to mitigate against both job losses and talent … Continue reading
The skills gap is widening as the battle for talent intensifies It is becoming harder and harder to find talent with key skills, while redundancies and severance expenses are mounting. Investment in internal training can help tackle these issues, but companies often do not prioritise such initiatives owing to cost, time, the unclear return on … Continue reading
This work contributes to the “Jobs and Skills” module of the Going Digital horizontal project and to the Skills Outlook 2019 on Skills and Digitalisation. It results from the cooperation between the Directorate for Education and Skills (EDU) and the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). It proposes an experimental methodology and first time … Continue reading
With federal budget consultations underway, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has issued six recommendations aimed at supporting inclusive economic growth and competitiveness by investing in skills and innovation. This is critical to help Canadians prepare for the future of work and to stay competitive in a rapidly changing labour market. These recommendations were shared as … Continue reading
As the types of skills needed in the labour market change rapidly, individual workers will have to engage in life-long learning if they are to achieve fulfilling and rewarding careers. For companies, reskilling and upskilling strategies will be critical if they are to find the talent they need and to contribute to socially responsible approaches … Continue reading
The Industrial Revolution created a lot of middle-class jobs—with a big lag, a lot of pain and suffering, and a lot of urbanization to go along with it. The transition to the service economy left behind many people, who still feel stranded, because they thought of themselves as contributing productively in the manufacturing sector. But … Continue reading
We’re not taking advantage of the full potential of “reskilling” workers. Conversations and solutions around job displacement are often limited for two reasons: 1) They focus exclusively on traditional jobs rather than “deconstructed” work; and 2) They focus on regional partnerships, rather than considering the global work ecosystem. Important solutions require seeing beyond “jobs” and … Continue reading
The UK has a world-class university system that plays a crucial role in producing a highly skilled workforce that can meet the rapidly shifting needs of the country. To remain responsive, the sector is developing new models and approaches. Partnerships between higher education, further education, employers and other parts of the tertiary education system are … Continue reading
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, The future of work in America: People and places, today and tomorrow (PDF–4.41MB), analyzes more than 3,000 US counties and 315 cities and finds they are on sharply different paths. Automation is not happening in a vacuum, and the health of local economies today will affect their … Continue reading
With rapid changes—both technological and in the organization of work—this new study finds that workers are extremely concerned about the profound impact of technologcal changes in their jobs (and whether they will even have a job in the future), with two-thirds of respondents seeing their job changing significantly at least every five years because of … Continue reading
Vocational Training – Playing a central role in determining the outcomes for the low-skilled, low-wage, workers
Economic integration has brought about not only benefits and opportunities but also required adjustment, especially for the youth entering the labour force. The lower growth rates characterizing the post Global Financial Crisis era and the concerns about income inequality put to the fore the degree that better targeted investment in human capital may ameliorate the … Continue reading
Who is fearful of automation and what do they want politicians to do about it? This paper finds a correlation between Canadians’ fear of job losses from automation and populist and nativist views—but also that Canadians favour traditional government policy approaches to job disruption, such as retraining, more than radical measures such as reducing immigration. … Continue reading
Background It is now well-recognized that the disconnect between education systems and labour markets, coupled with technological disruptions, is creating instability and insecurity to the livelihoods of many. Governments are under increasing pressure to nd solutions, including by involving the private sector in change efforts, although few are able to act rapidly and few work … Continue reading
With digitalisation, deepening globalisation and population ageing, the world of work is changing. The extent to which individuals, firms and economies can harness the benefits of these changes critically depends on the readiness of adult learning systems to help people develop relevant skills for this changing world of work. This report presents the key results … Continue reading
At the November 2017 Gothenburg Summit, the Commission presented the Communication ‘Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture’, that set out a vision for a European Education Area and announced a dedicated Digital Education Action Plan, which aims to foster digital skills and competences for all citizens. The Action Plan focuses on implementation and the … Continue reading
Future of Work and Skills System for Scotland and Northern Ireland – A focus on young people alone will not be enough
This report marks the third in a series of three reports looking at what a 21st century skills system should look like, in a comparative study across Northern Ireland and Scotland. PRIORITIES FOR THE SKILLS SYSTEMS IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND Disruption will be significant over the coming years – the skills system needs to … Continue reading
At a time when all jobs, whether in a coffee shop or a bank, can seemingly be described as creative, you’d be forgiven for thinking the word had lost all meaning in the labour market. However, this first piece of research from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), written in partnership with Nesta, … Continue reading
Intended to clear up misconceptions on the subject of automation, the following report employs government and private data, including from the McKinsey Global Institute, to develop both backward- and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 across some 800 occupations. In doing so, the report … Continue reading
This guide shares nine steps to preparing the workforce for digital transformation, and 10 case studies that show skills provision in practice. Key findings: To learn new skills, people in work need access to multiple services: We have found nine components for building learning ecosystems that adapt to changes in skills demand and support individuals … Continue reading
The Future of Work – Fostering the benefits of new technologies requires good measures of their impact
The new technologies hold promises but also significant challenges. Advances in digitalization, artificial intelligence, and automation promise to raise productivity and growth, but they are also bound to reshape the economy and the way we work, with the potential to increase inequality. Given the dimension of the possible changes, it will take a comprehensive and … Continue reading
The Australian Government announced the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Review in the 2017-18 Budget. The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australia. As such, it affects education providers, industry and students. The AQF is agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Both the COAG Education Council and the COAG Industry and … Continue reading
A range of sensible policies at the federal and state levels can help limit worker risks of displacement and support adjustments when such displacements occur. Education for 21st century skills For instance, students at all levels of education will need better preparation in what are often called “21st century skills.” These include communication and a … Continue reading
We use estimates from Frey and Osborne (2017) of how likely automation is to affect occupations. They first identify the tasks of each occupation that may become automated: perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks. Then they use a machine learning algorithm to calculate the probabilities of computerization. We merge their … Continue reading
Digitisation is transforming the nature of work, as well as many aspects of social and civic life. Digital skills are vital for individuals and national economies to prosper in a rapidly-changing world, bene ting from the opportunities of digital and remaining resilient to potential risks. More than 90 per cent of jobs in some categories … Continue reading
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labour markets. New categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The skill sets required in both old and new occupations will change in … Continue reading