There are always these moments where technology has forced us into a different direction, in most cases, it’s been positive. You can think of robots and AI helping you to remove the most redundant parts of your work life so that you can focus on things that matter the most to you. For the vast majority of us, the workplace is rapidly changing, and it can feel like we are speeding towards the unknown. By 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by technological advancements, which is a scary number, but at the same time, 97 million new roles may emerge that will be adapted to a new division of labour between humans, machines, and algorithms. There is a whole host of emerging industries that will create a range of new jobs. For many people, automation is a scary word because they think of machines that are essentially taking away their jobs. What we are all going to have to realize is that through technology we are going to have better standards, more opportunities, and traditional jobs will transition into new and more exciting jobs for the future. In the same way as workers had to learn how to use machines and tools in the first industrial revolution, it's going to be up to us to learn how to use the tools in this fourth industrial revolution. That means more people learning how software and robots function. People working today will see a shift in the core skills that they are working on change by up to 40% in the next five years. Reskilling will become key to this transition. But the good news is that it has never been easier to learn these new skills. Many companies are prioritising training to build a secure future for themselves and their employees. Two out of three companies expect to see a return on investment from reskilling their workforce. What’s more, the internet has made self-education both accessible and affordable.
Although digital literacy is going to be incredibly important. Indeed, soft skills are going to be at the core of the average future worker. In a world where hybrid and remote working will be more common, self-awareness and self-management will be key. Rules centred around employee well-being and community will become more important, and emotional intelligence will become necessary for managers to provide proper support and foster happier teams. We may even start to see official certifications of these soft skills, allowing for greater freedom to transfer between industries. Far from the uncaring image of technology in science fiction, technology can contribute to increasing our capacity to take care of each other, and it can also help us care for our planet.
The future of work is coming. For some, it's already here. It can be a bright future, a future that can improve our well-being and that of the planet. While automation can sound scary, with careful regulation and policies that promote equal opportunities and inclusion, we are looking at a future of work that can make us happier, more effective, and more human.
Innovator and Design Thinker with experience in Program Management, Academic Delivery and Student Success in the Ed Tech domain having worked with both startup and corporate organizations. Envisage the growth of educational startup ecosystem through human centric design and the efficient use of technology.
Scottish Qualifications Authority, UK
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