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Staying One Step Ahead: The Future of Jobs Report 2020

If there is one thing we, as a society, have taken away from the last year is that thinking about the future is equally as important as today. In response to the significant changes of the last year, the World Economic Forum has released a report that reflects on the future of jobs. The report provides an overview of the expansion and innovation of technology in the workforce, emerging and disrupted professions, projected growth within the industries, and new strategies for effective transitions at scale within the workforce.

The disruption to our working lives was significant in 2020, which the report highlights within the history of economic cycles and the expected uptake for technology within the workplace over the next five years. The report identifies the most important factor in preparing for the future is preparing for significant technological change. Companies across multiple industries are adopting cloud computing, big data and e-commerce platforms to maintain and control their operations. With a rise in Artificial Intelligence and encryptions, business leaders are currently focusing on these platforms as a high priority.

The question this puts into the reader’s mind is, ‘will there be a significant reduction in the workforce and a larger focus on contractors to execute task-specialised work?’ This disruption scenario for workers also follows with the change of companies relocating their bases and adjusting their value chains to suit this new technological era. Based on the information given in the World Economic Forum report, the working population will experience not only a limited supply of job demand but also a slow job supply. To deal with this, upskilling in areas such as digitalisation of work processes, problem-solving, active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility will help workers navigate around this significant change and create opportunities for workers across all sectors.

The report also focused on the need for environmental, social, and governance adoption, matched with renewed measures of human capital accounting. In response to the technological change in culling the workforce and replacing it with Artificial Intelligence, business leaders of today are thinking about the effect tomorrow will have on workers by reskilling them and redeploying them internally. Taking this level of accountability for the displacement of their workforce, more and more companies are using this as a core workforce strategy for the benefit of society.

Though this strategy has a large social responsibility aspect, companies are also seeing the fiscal benefit of reskilling and upskilling their employees, as return on investment is expected to increase by 66% if this course of action is taken. Given that the value of human capital investment is increasing, the outlook for jobs in the future is changing in favour for those in cloud computing, content production, data and artificial intelligence, marketing, people and culture, product development, technological engineering, and sales. To provide further insight into this, the report highlights the areas in which people can develop to meet this gap based on job demand (Figure Illustrated).

Transitions into the jobs of the future. Future of Jobs Report 2020 (World Economic Forum)

By upskilling employees to be able to adapt to new technologies, managing change and develop resilience, companies will find more value in their offering to the market. In the future, employees will find themselves acquiring new skills and abilities within their work environment and adopting their capabilities to suit the changing expectations. By adapting and developing new skills, employees will exceed in the new market and build an economy grounded in the technological era.

If you find your organisation needs support in planning and strategising for the future ways of working, contact TMS Consulting on solutions@tmsconsulting.com.au.

Source: Future of Jobs Report 2020 (World Economic Forum) – https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020

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