News United Kingdom, Middle East, Europe

New Year’s Resolutions: time to sharpen your skill set in 2019

8 January 2019

Halian’s Operations Director Adil Gwiazdowski highlights the importance of digital workforces mastering new skills in the face of the next jobs revolution.

The world is changing fast. Technology is changing the way we live and work at a pace never seen before. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning promise to revolutionize everything we know. Industrialization 4.0 will disrupt whole industries from transportation to banking and agriculture. And as in previous revolutions, the societal changes will be broad, deep, and enduring.

A 2016 report  estimates that by 2020, robotic automation will be responsible for 5 million job losses in 15 developed nations. Such predictions of job losses are creating fear that the changes will widen social inequality. Stephen Hawking best described this when he noted that:

“Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.”

However, there is a strong argument to be made for the fact that technology will complement humans by augmenting our natural capabilities. As some believe, this combined human/digital workforce is the true future of industry around the world.

Skills gap

Meanwhile, new research  suggests that by 2030, the global demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply. The result will be a shortage of 85 million people costing $8.5 trillion. So it is not surprising that, for the first time, talent shortage is being seen as the top business risk in Gartner’s quarterly Emerging Risks Report. Already, the Digital Skills Gap is triggering an industry crisis in cybersecurity and AI, leading us to think perhaps it’s not a question of humans being put out of work, but instead, having to master fresh skills to seize plentiful opportunity in the workplace of 2019 and beyond.

McKinsey estimates that by 2030, up to 375 million workers will have to master fresh skills. The ability to prepare for future skills will pose major challenges for our society. As a result, we will need a complete rethink of how we educate, train and develop the skill sets of the future.

The power of creativity

There’s always room for optimism, and we humans are an adaptable race. This World Economic Forum report noted that 65% of the jobs our children will do in the future do not exist today. But after all, not so long ago there were no Mobile App Developers, Uber Drivers or Social Media Managers, and these are all jobs we carry out today in our thousands. It goes to show that humans can and do adapt to gain the skills for jobs that, well, just haven’t been created yet.

And it looks like soft rather than hard skills will be crucial in that adaptation. In a 2018 future of jobs  report, the top 3 skills we will all need for the future workplace are identified as complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. That’s because Robots can be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet!). So if you’re still looking for that new year’s resolution, how about improving your problem solving?