The world is changing rapidly, and nowhere is that felt more acutely than in the workplace. Technological advances are leading to companies automating tasks that traditionally were done by humans, leaving many workers with the choice of either learning new skills or finding new jobs – and in some cases needing to do both.
At the same time, companies that are developing or using these new innovations are struggling to find the talent they need to grow. A talented workforce in an innovation-based economy can mean the difference between success and failure for a company. Both sides – workers and employers – are going to need new solutions to workforce development that fit this new reality. There are a number of factors to consider when designing new approaches to support training and talent matching.
Future skills, today
Our research indicates that 42 percent of the Canadian labour market is at high risk of being impacted by automation within the next 20 years. The anticipated changes in the labour market will also impact the skills required for workers to remain competitive. A recent report from RBC suggests that roughly 50 percent of occupations will undergo a significant skills overhaul as a result of technological disruptions. While these disruptions may eliminate some jobs, they also present an opportunity for new job roles.
For example, jobs requiring digital skills are expected to be in high demand in the near future. According to an Information and Communications Technology Council report, the information and communications technology sector is expected to seek an additional 216,000 workers with technology-oriented skills by 2021. Evidence also strongly suggests that technological changes in the workplace will increase the value of social skills among workers as these skills are more immune to automation. RBC’s report reinforces these findings by suggesting that there will be 350,000 job openings in 2021 for workers who possess a high degree of critical thinking skills and social skills.