Via The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum’s latest and third edition takes stock of the impact of the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the COVID-19 recession on the future of jobs.
The report provides a global overview of the ongoing technological augmentation of work, emerging and disrupted jobs and skills, projected expansion of mass reskilling and upskilling across industries as well as new strategies for effective workforce transitions at scale.
The pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and may accelerate in some areas. Cloud computing, big data and e-commerce remain high priorities but there has also been a significant rise in interest in encryption, adoption of non humanoid robots and AI.
Although the number of jobs destroyed will be surpassed by the number of ‘jobs of tomorrow’ created, in contrast to previous years, job creation is slowing while job destruction accelerates.
Emerging and declining jobs: Leading positions in growing demand are Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Robotics Engineers, Software and Application developers as well as Digital Transformation Specialists. Job roles such as Process Automation Specialists, Information Security Analysts and Internet of Things Specialists are newly emerging among a cohort of roles which are seeing growing demand from employers.
Skills gaps continue to be high as in demand skills across jobs change in the next five years. The top skills and skill groups include critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. On average, companies estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less and 94% of business leaders report that they expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp uptake from 65% in 2018.
The future of work has already arrived for a large majority of the online white-collar workforce. Eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.
Online learning and training is on the rise but looks different for those in employment and those who are unemployed. There has been a four-fold increase in the numbers of individuals seeking out opportunities for learning online through their own initiative, a five-fold increase in employer provision of online learning opportunities to their workers and a nine-fold enrolment increase for learners accessing online learning through government programmes. Those in employment are placing larger emphasis on personal development courses, which have seen 88% growth among that population. Those who are unemployed have placed greater emphasis on learning digital skills such as data analysis, computer science and information technology.
The window of opportunity to reskill and upskill workers has become shorter in the newly constrained labour market. This applies to workers who are likely to stay in their roles as well as those who risk losing their roles due to rising recession-related unemployment and can no longer expect to retrain at work.
Despite the current economic downturn, the large majority of employers recognize the value of human capital investment. An average of 66% of employers surveyed expect to get a return on investment in upskilling and reskilling within one year. However, this time horizon risks being too long for many employers in the context of the current economic shock, and nearly 17% remain uncertain on having any return on their investment. On average, employers expect to offer reskilling and upskilling to just over 70% of their employees by 2025. However, employee engagement into those courses is lagging, with only 42% of employees taking up employer-supported reskilling and upskilling opportunities.