In the last few decades, the enormous wave of information and telecommunication technologies have had brought many dramatic effects, some benefitting and others killing the jobs for workers. And, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) built on the progress provided by the third one which was also termed as the digital revolution is complicating the employer-employee relationship in particular and the overall industry as a whole. Characterized by a fusion of technologies, this fourth industrial revolution seems to blur out the lines between the physical, digital and biological sphere. And this can be further confirmed by the artificial intelligence vibe prevailing in the global economy that has gifted the mankind with self-driving cars, virtual assistants, and software that translate or invest. There’s much more to come in the pipeline and this isn’t just a vague promise but a careful mindset created from the systematic analysis made by the industry experts which includes the exponential increase in the computing power and the availability of huge amounts of data.
Changing employer-employee relationship
While, the non-tech firms are working on every niche of the latest technologies like AI, blockchain, and robotics, etc., to be a part of their operations, the IT companies are digging in deep to further enhance the digital processes and operations as per the contemporary needs of the mankind. The employers are prepping themselves up and are more focused on getting the talent on board who are better prepared to deal with the rapidly changing digital engagements and deliver something constructive as well as creative to their companies. As a consequence, it is considered that in the future, more than the capital it will be the talent that will represent the critical factor of production. The entire system of production, management, and governance will get transformed and will give rise to a job market heavily segregated into the “low-skill=low pay” and “high skills=high pay” segments. In its report titled ‘The Future of Jobs’, World Economic Forum states that while 7.1 million jobs would be lost through redundancy, automation or disintermediation, 2.1 million more jobs will be created mainly in the specialized areas such as computing, maths, architecture, and engineering.
Apprehensions have a room too
But there are several economists and business experts in the industry who argue that economies and job world will all go down, and amongst the most hit ones will be the developing countries, like India. The revolution is likely to give space and spread inequality with new innovative machines and technologies entering the market every now and then and completely disrupting the labor markets round the globe. India is one amongst the many countries which has got a plethora of manpower, but there is a big shortage of skilled workforce. The stats show that more than 65% of India’s workforce is living in the rural area with no adequate access to even the basic amenities of life. Now the question is with such a great percentage of people in the low skills segment can India still make the benefits of FIR count? Can the nation turn the FIR scenario in its favor?
Skilling up the Nation’s Workforce
Well, no change is brought up in the day. It is our constantly made efforts and decisions in the right direction that brings even the most unbelievable yet wonderful change to life. It’s time to make the Indian difference count in the global market and the efforts need to start from today onwards. There are some pointers that clearly indicate why the Indian economy is different and in future contexts much better and safe place for the varied job force in comparison to the rest of the world, including the developed countries. First, the size of the nation with its huge population base provides potentially huge market access. Second, the extremely appealing demographic dividend with the nation’s youth representing 20% of the global workforce by 2020.
Considering the fact that youths are the flexible learners open to face and change as per the changing working environment, our workforce is certainly moving ahead for their best times. But to ensure the same, skilling up the kids and the youths must become the prime developmental agenda of the nation. From political establishments to NGOs, employer’s, educationists, parents, and students, the implementation of this agenda needs to be taken seriously by them all, and in perfect unison with no fallbacks. With more skilled labor and professionals available in its own country, India would definitely emerge as a powerful and developed nation away from all unemployment and bearish economy issues.
A glorious path ahead
We are a country that has been through various national, economic and security crisis issues but it’s our undying spirit to learn and win that has brought us all the way from a fragmented country with a primitive economy to one amongst the fastest growing economies of the world. The same idea needs to be adopted again; FIR won’t be much of harm if the workforce gets adequately trained and skilled to be in the “high-skills= high pay class” as if otherwise, the economy would be left devastated.