How upskilling and reskilling will change the future of jobs? Find here


By Ajit Menon

The employment universe is undergoing a transformation wherein job security may not necessarily be a given. The next five years are crucial as roughly 75 million jobs are likely to get disrupted through automation and digital technology. As per the World Economic Forum, organisations are deploying emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and big data for business transformation.

Driven by Industry 4.0 imperatives, employers and employees are boosting their capabilities by promoting the learning of additional skills to enhance current roles – what we call ‘upskilling’. Meanwhile, others are being trained in completely new skill-sets for different jobs – known as ‘reskilling’.

Given the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, investing in our people is vital in tackling upcoming challenges. At this crucial juncture, where smart technologies are overwhelming labour markets, major reforms in education, backed by lifelong learning and reskilling initiatives, will be instrumental in keeping employees relevant. Significantly, reskilling is a continuous process critical for generations already working or those just entering the workforce. Industry 4.0 has triggered a great decline in many roles, making them obsolete due to automation. By 2022, almost 75 million jobs will be redundant. Nevertheless, the ubiquity of digital technologies will create 133 million new jobs leading to a net increase in overall employment opportunities. As a result, upskilling and reskilling initiatives will enable companies to future-proof their workforce, making them viable enough to attract competent talent.

Meanwhile, policymakers should support job-training initiatives and allied programmes to keep people employed and work towards preparing the youth for joining the workforce. Employees must also take responsibility in updating their skills periodically as upskilling and reskilling are a career-long commitment.

There is a pressing requirement for reskilling the entire workforce by 2022 to reap the dividends of largescale digitisation. Unfortunately, limited efforts have been made in this direction, and those at the risk of job displacement are barely receiving retraining. Moreover, driving a reskilling revolution requires massive investments. Therefore, public-private participation is vital in reskilling the so called ‘at-risk’ workforce. Such collaborations will help in keeping costs at a competitive level & but at the same time boosting the required outcomes.

Despite the temporary disruptions in many jobs, the emergence of new roles will ensure gross gains in employment avenues. But the transition for millions of workers must be supported by industry at large and all governments via proactive investments in upskilling & reskilling as well as in creating an entirely new pool of tech-savvy talent. Such proactive measures will ascertain that most job losses are offset by a concomitant rise in new jobs creation. The Fourth Industrial Revolution offers both challenges as well as opportunities. But companies should focus on the global window of opportunity by embracing digital technology for enhancing business outcomes. It is the only winning proposition for both employees and employers, globally.

The author is the Group HR of Dalmia Bharat Group.



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