How will rapid technological progress and the prospect of longer, healthier lives revolutionize work?
The world is entering into the FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. The question is how will it affect us and our jobs?
The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2030 we would only work for three hours a day because machines or robots would be doing our jobs for us. But, he also agreed that work gives our lives meaning and brings stability to societies. The big question is “are we going to be unemployed?” This is also about how technological development will revolutionize the world of work.
It is also imperative to note that; we are living longer, healthier lives. It is predicted that the spending power of those over the age of 60 are expected to rise to $15 trillion by 2020, this is a great opportunity for economies.
Technology is changing industries at a rapid pace and the labour market will therefore enter a period of uncertainty. So, managing this transition is an important challenge, that is readjusting to the future beyond an expected increase in automation.
The type of skills expected by employers are constantly changing. The job seekers or employees are under immense pressure to constantly learn and adapt to evolving and emerging industries. As technology further reshapes business needs, both individuals and countries will have to address ongoing skills gaps. Traditional education system is in many cases badly equipped to develop dynamic skill in students. Most schools and universities are stuck in the 20th century education to young people who will need cutting -edge 21st century skills. This is an issue that calls for long-term commitment to reform from successive generations of political leaders.
“Many members of the global workforce can’t keep up with the shift in skills required for jobs, which are seen by some as part of the evolving Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the increasing availability of data about labour supply and demand and the economy more broadly can help policymakers, employers, educators, and members of the workforce react quickly and effectively to changes in demand for skills and collectively increase economic opportunity worldwide” wrote Allen Blue, co-founder of Linkedln.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labour markets. The skills sets required in both old and new occupations will change in most industries and transform how and where people work. It may also affect female and male workers differently and transform the dynamics of the industry gender gap.