The future of work will require two types of changes across the workforce: upskilling, in which staff gain new skills to help in their current roles, and reskilling, in which staff need the capabilities to take on different or entirely new roles. Our research suggests that the reskilling challenge will be particularly acute in operationally intensive sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, and retail, and operations-aligned occupations, such as maintenance, claim processing, and warehouse order picking.1 Those sectors and occupations will experience a magnitude of change greater than the global average because they often employ large numbers of people and because the predictable and repetitive nature of many operational tasks makes them particularly suitable for automation or digitization.
Our analysis suggests that 39 to 58 percent of the worldwide work activities in operationally intensive sectors could be automated using currently demonstrated technologies. That is 1.3 times the automation potential of activities in other sectors (Exhibit 1).
Leaders are unprepared
In operationally intensive sectors, leaders recognize that automation and digitization will likely create significant skill gaps, but most report feeling unprepared for the challenge. In a 2017 McKinsey survey of 116 executives at large organizations, nearly two-thirds of respondents said skills were a top ten issue for their companies. Only 7 percent of respondents thought that their companies were fully prepared to address the skill gaps that they expected over the subsequent five years.
When we asked executives in the survey why their organizations were not yet ready to tackle the skill issue, they cited three main barriers. More than one in four respondents said they lacked a clear understanding of the impact that future automation and digitization would have on skill requirements. Nearly one in four said they lacked the tools or the knowledge to quantify the business case for efforts to reskill their workforces. And almost one-third thought that their current HR infrastructure would not be able to execute a new strategy designed to address emerging skill gaps (Exhibit 3). Across industries, our latest survey data indicate that these problems persist today.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Reskilling workers for industry 4.0 | McKinsey