Automation is taking the job market by storm. The current skillsets might lose its relevance in the next five years. About 83% respondents surveyed by the City & Guild Group in their first four-nation Study believe that their current skills will lose its sheen within 5 years. As high as 91% Indians believe in this. About 79% of business leaders and 63% of other employees surveyed in the country believed automation and artificial intelligence could replace a number of current jobs.
The research indicates that the sense of urgency to adapt skills to the changing nature of the economy is not felt amongst employees at large, with many thinking their jobs will not be ‘affected’ by future trends. The findings were captured in global skill development firm City & Guilds Group's first Skills Confidence Report. The study covered over 8,000 employees in the UK, US, South Africa and India. However, the respondents do not feel that the changing nature of the workplace will impact their job, nor the skills they need for the future. This ‘false confidence’ is particularly apparent among general employees – particularly in the UK, US and South Africa.
About 76% of respondents agree that skill gap is a problem. 46% of Indian & 45% of South African respondents cited working in multi-national environment as a key skill for their future career, vs 21% of UK and 25% of US respondents. About 34% of all respondents cited understanding how to work in a multinational environment as an important skills for their future career prospects in 10 years’ time. 80% of Indian respondents are confident they have the skills to work abroad, but 40% worry about ‘brain drain’. 42% of South African respondents also worry about this.
Only a small percentage (14%) recognise understanding how to work in multi-generational markets as a skills gap in many organisations – but this could grow as the multi-generational workforce becomes a reality.
But 70% of senior leaders (CEOs and CXOs) believe automation and artificial intelligence could replace a number of jobs in my organisation in 10 years’ time. Awareness of future trends appears to be higher among business leaders compared to general employees.
Employees are embracing training in the workplace, and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by employers. Encouragingly, most people recognise the link between training and development and business growth – and they are confident in the effectiveness of their company’s learning and development programmes. 78% of all respondents are confident in their company’s learning and development investments, and 79% said these investments align to business goals.
The favoured way to learn is on the job – and in some countries, more traditional methods of training are falling out of favour, which could signal the death of the day-long training course. 75% of respondents cited on -the -job learning as a preferred way of learning, vs learning from colleagues (48%), online learning (42%) and attending training sessions (35%). Only 23% of UK respondents rate training courses. In India, there is a much bigger drive towards training managers vs UK and US. About 72% of middle managers in India are receiving training, compared to just 39% of the UK’s and 45% of the US’s middle managers. That probably points out to why 91% Indian employees feel that their skills might become irrelevant in 5 years’ time.
The top threat from Indian respondents were: changing technological requirements (42%), Technological advancements (36%), Others willing to do my job for less money (31%), Outsourcing to other countries (20%), Changes to consumer/customer needs (18%). 46% of all respondents across all countries lack confidence in their countries’ education systems to preparing young people for the world of work.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), we are going through a fourth industrial revolution which will displace the role of humans in the economy in favour of machines and automation. So Skilling, training and development should be part of the corporate agenda.