Jobs of the future: The impact of the fourth industrial revolution on employment

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With rapid advancements in technologies such as autonomation and artificial intelligence, the fourth revolution is changing the way we live, work and think. Many businesses are beginning to discuss and prepare for how this revolution will affect them.

With UK employment rates seeing an all-time high in recent years, businesses have the added challenge in finding the candidates needed to fill the ever-changing roles in this upcoming digital evolution. Over the centuries, in every industrial revolution we have had a significant degree of disruption, but it has also presented an opportunity for economic growth and social progression.

A recent study released by McKinsey Global Institute reports that by 2022, 50% of companies believe that automation will decrease their numbers of full-time staff and, by 2030, robots will replace 800 million workers across the world. As alarming as these figures may sound, it represents a change within the workforce and the need for employees to adjust skills sets to take on more beneficial roles.

The rise of autonomation will require numerous individuals to adopt new skills, both IT and non-IT related, in order to remain employable. The future of work belongs to those with emotional and social intelligence, who can spend more time on creative, collaborative, and complex problem-solving tasks that machine automation isn’t suited to handle.

The World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” report found that 35 per cent of core skills will change between 2015 and 2020. As the pace of technological change quickens, it’s the responsibility of employers to empower and educate their workforce to keep up with the pace of change. It’s already evident that talent development, lifelong learning and career reinvention are critical for the future workforce.

Education is at the forefront of how we can flourish within the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Our traditional education has been monodisciplinary, where we work towards a specific skill set and qualification. But with the 4IR, we need to adapt to an interdisciplinary system, where people can develop their skillset and mindset rather than one field in particular.

The rise of technologies means that personalised experiences will hold more importance. Therefore, businesses should do what they can to offer customers the best experience, in terms of security, data handling and privacy. It’s crucial that recruiters understand why these new technologies are beneficial and how they can utilise them to help their business and get ahead of the game.

It’s hard to assess the outcome of the future. However, in the meantime, it’s important to remember the significance of change and its normality. Businesses need to keep up with the pace by attracting, recruiting and developing employees to compete in the new jobs market.

We will all collectively have to broaden our skills sets, learn and adopt the new technologies available to us. With these technologies it means we have a library of knowledge which can be easily accessed in order to adapt to the times.

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