Worker hoping for employability despite automation

Employability via skills revolution?

What does the future hold for automation and employability? One thing is certain: We will have to learn new skills. Skills to deal with change, and for jobs, we don’t even have an idea of today. The world’s largest staffing company, the Manpower Group, surveyed 18,000 employers in 43 countries from 6 industry sectors to find out what these skills might be, what jobs we will have to do with them, and what the world of work might look like in the near future.

According to the survey, current technology can automate up to 45 percent of the tasks people are paid to do every day. At the same time, we have long adapted to this evolution of the labor market – chatbots, automated customer service on the phone, word processors to personal assistants are nothing new. The difference now is that the lifecycle of skills is shorter than ever before, and change is occurring at an unprecedented rate. The impact may be hyperinflated today, but as the cost and complexity of implementing technology decreases, the pace will continue to accelerate.

And yet, new technologies can be expensive and require people with expertise. Employers are therefore reluctant to say “hello automation, goodbye workers” with full vigor. Most employers expect a net gain from automation and adapting to digitalization for employees. Eighty-three percent intend to maintain or increase their workforce and train their employees over the next two years. Only 12 percent of employers plan to reduce headcount due to automation. What does the employability look like at your company? Are you relying more on new technologies or on loyal employees who are willing to get Professional Training?

Automation and employability = willingness to learn new things

We can assume that the value we place on different skills will soon change. Digitization and growth of skilled work hold opportunities as long as organizations and individuals are ready for this change in values. New technologies will replace both cognitive and manual routine tasks, allowing people to take on more fulfilling roles and leave routine tasks to an algorithm. Creativity, emotional intelligence, and cognitive flexibility are skills that will tap human potential and allow people to complement robots rather than be replaced by them. Increasingly, humans will find they need to move up and diversify into new areas. Competency proximity, agility, and the ability to learn will be critical.

This means that for people, employability – the ability to get and keep the job they want – no longer depends on what they can already do, but on their willingness to learn new things they don’t yet know anything about. The companies that can combine the right combination of people, skills, and technology are the ones that will win. Take a look at your company structure: who can do what and how far have you implemented new technical solutions? Is there possibly room for improvement in one place or another?

Know-how transfer from individual to individual

The future of work and employability requires different skills, and employers need to focus more than ever on retraining and upskilling to address the current talent shortage and anticipate tomorrow’s needs. Nearly three-quarters are investing in internal training to keep skills up to date. 44 percent are hiring additional skills rather than replacing them, and more than a third are getting third parties or contractors to transfer expertise to their employees. We should not underestimate the value of human connection. Transforming work in the age of machines doesn’t have to be a battle between humans and robots.

Which talents do you promote in your company?

Manpower Group has declared the “Skills Revolution.” It requires a new mindset, both for employers trying to develop a workforce with the right skills and for individuals looking to advance their careers. Education initiatives to strengthen the talent pipeline are important, but not the only answer and may take many years to bear fruit. Businesses have a role to play in improving people’s lives and must be a powerful part of the solution for employability. Now is the time for leaders and individuals to realize their responsibility and be responsive. Find out about the opportunities to nurture talent and develop new “skills” in your company. The TÜV Rheinland Academy, for example, can help you with this. We support you with proven solutions for people in the workplace and in your professional environment. Contact us, and we will discuss together which forms and methods can best be implemented in your company.

Competence Management TÜV Rheinland Akademie


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