Artificial intelligence and robotics are on the verge of entering every industry, but what does this mean for the future of work?
Last year, think-tank the RSA urged UK businesses to embrace AI & robotics — arguing that technology can help raise productivity levels and phase out mundane tasks.
In a report, it said that technology can complement workers as well as compete with them. Occupations are more likely to evolve than be eliminated as a result of automation.
That conclusion is backed up by a new report from professional services firm Deloitte which dispels the notion that advances in technology will bring about mass unemployment.
However, with changes in the type of jobs we do and the way we work, the most resilient employees will be those with transferable skills such as active listening, complex problem solving and the ability to exercise judgement.
Deloitte’s research shows that occupations requiring a higher level of these skills have seen a net increase of 1.9 million jobs between 2001 and 2016.
As transferable skills are more highly valued in growth occupations, there will be opportunities for workers to transition between industries and occupations. This means that businesses and workers will need to be more flexible when considering candidates and job opportunities respectively.
David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte North West Europe, explained: “Traditional recruitment processes, particularly for experienced workers, tend to focus on academic achievement and sector expertise, and could overlook individuals who might be well-suited for the role but who have built up their skills in a different context.
“Similarly, employees don’t always realise how valuable and relevant their skills are for other jobs, allowing them to reinvent themselves. As disruption gathers pace, workers will need to draw on their transferable skills, and plan for multiple careers.”