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Robot Revolution v Skills Revolution

11 Jan 2021 Latest News Written by: Lautier, Sian

Overnight 2020 saw a huge shift in the corporate world. A massive upturn awakened companies to a new reality of operations. Despite fears and pressures of adapting to new strategies the future vision of companies had a considerable shake up of what may now be the ‘new norm’, an unimaginable footprint that would change the working world.

 

The need for digitalisation of all corporations was duly thrust to the forefront of any corporate structure to succeed and go forth as soon as the Pandemic flood gates opened. Change happened.. and for most change is not easily swallowed, be it employers or employees. Change was unavoidable, which will continue to be a post-pandemic focus and challenge.

 

Adapting to these post-pandemic changes involves a massive shift for future employees and employers alike. Adaptations for greater resilience to strengthen companies from future disruptions bring new strategies that 2019 did not foresee. 2021 sees critical development of employees' requirements. Digital requirements demands are matched also by demand for widespread humanity adaptability, emotional skills, cognitive abilities, enthusiasm for upskilling and communication skills.

 

Communications skills are paramount at this time, with team members split between home and the office. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are ever so much more important, working now as a virtual being. The required relationship building and maintenance is a big leap from office relationships standards. 

 

Creating an emotionally positive space is imperative. So..now you're not not in close proximity to you colleagues, now you are the virtual you. Emotional skills are now heightened, well being and a positive approach is essential at all levels.

 

Regardless of the industry, size of a company staying in line with changes and requirements is requisite and will remain valued by employers. Technical skills are ever changing and have become a necessity, ultimately helping your organisation to progress.

Pre pandemic upskilling was already a predominance in the workplace, with millions of dollars invested. 4 major firms that hit the headlines recently were:

Amazon 

This Tech giant invested $700 million in upskilling and training . Amazon holds a Career Choice programme where Amazon pays up to 95% of tuition fees towards a certificate or diploma for high demand occupations.

 

Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) -

This is the biggest investment made by a company- a whopping - $3 billion last year to upskill and retrain every single employee that works for the company over the next 3-4 years.

 

IBM

This pioneer of Artificial Intelligence (AI), they have already identified that this technology has the power to render jobs obsolete.

They have utilised AI to identify upskilling strategies to assist those who may be put out of work due to technological advancements.

 

Mastercard

2016 saw Mastercard offer a learning platform called Degreed. New technologies are always evolving to stay competitive and expand. Whilst in the midst of the pandemic employees were able to up-skill creating avenues related to their personal goals and up-skilling with subjects both valuable for them and for future company requirements.

 

Steve Boucher, VP of Global Talent Development at Mastercard, told Ibs Intelligence, “We were already one of the first electronic payment companies to use AI-powered fraud protection, biometric security tools, and touchless technologies. 

“In order to remain competitive, we had to embrace new technologies and expand. Banga recognised that to do this, Mastercard’s company culture would have to evolve to accelerate innovation and pivot product development towards developing digital technology offerings, including mobile payments, digital wallets, and cybersecurity enablement's for fraud detection.”


Let’s Talk AI 

Machines, robots, all futuristic sounding as it maybe is making a huge impact on the world as I type. AI has a unique ability to map, ‘learn’ from data patterns, it offers ‘predictions’, predictive mapping through variables. AI has and is playing a huge role in the fight against the pandemic - screen, tracking and producing predictions of potential disease contagion areas and containment, sounds familiar right?

Reports have shown Robots could replace as many as 2 million more workers in manufacturing alone by 2025. Machines have been taking over the hands of people for years and post Covid-19 is predicted that we shall see an acceleration in this area, let’s face it, robots don’t get sick and have no need to self isolate.

According to a recent paper by economists at MIT and Boston University. “This pandemic has created a very strong incentive to automate the work of human beings,” says Daniel Susskind, who works within economics at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Artificial intelligence means that all types of jobs are at risk. Daniel Susskind argues that machines no longer need to reason like us without judgement and empathy . Now within reach are capabilities of drafting legal documents to diagnose illnesses..

 

See Daniel Susskind - “A world without work” here as he probes and delves into AI and future digitalisation of corporations below.

 

World Economic Forum

  • The World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2025, compared to 71% being performed by humans today machines will perform more current work tasks than humans 
  • The rapid evolution of machines and algorithms in the workplace could create 133 million new roles in place of 75 million that will be displaced between now and 2022
  • Urgent challenges are required providing reskilling opportunities, protecting low skilled workers, enabling remote working options too. 

 

Millions of people would require the scope for Up-Skilling or Re-Skilling to adapt to the shift. Lowest paid workers would be the worst affected with manual jobs being displaced by technology.

MEF reports governments would have to provide "stronger safety nets" for displaced workers. They reported that skills such as communicating, advising, reasoning, interacting would rise in demand. With a "surge" in demand for other jobs in Green Economy and new roles evoked by the changes in areas of engineering and cloud computing.

 Re-skilling, up-skilling, cross-skilling are required to aid and secure the future of employees in what is called a re-skilling revolution. Times are changing quickly, strategies for the better outcomes are held in the hands of employees, employers and governments. 

 

This Pandemic may have just awakened a robot revolution, in response the up rising of the Skill Revolution is vital.

 

 

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