Skills revolution, in other words: your enemy is not the robot, rather yourself

We have always said so and now an authoritative source underlines this point in the most authoritative context, namely the World Economic Forum annual meeting that was held in Davos in January.

We are talking about the jobs of the future, of upskilling and of how digitization and automation can facilitate these processes rather than compromise them. The data have been released by ManPower which, on the occasion of the WEF, published a study called “Skills Revolution” which surveyed 18,000 employers in 43 countries around the world. The focus? What will the impact of automation and digitization be on the development of new professional figures? 90% of employers expect their organization to be impacted by industry 4.0 in the next two years and 83% of the sample does not expect a decrease in their headcount as a result of digitization; on the contrary, they welcome the effects that the necessary upskilling will have on their employees.

Positive figures come precisely from our country: employers in Italy are some of the most optimistic about an increase in headcount (31% to 40%), followed by Portugal, Guatemala, Peru and Panama, and close behind the United States, South Africa, Mexico and New Zealand which anticipate growth between 11 and 20 per cent. At the end of the list there is India, which expects digitization to reduce headcount between -20/-30%. Which jobs and skills are most in demand? According to the employers surveyed, people working in IT, Human Resources and Customer Facing, with expected increases in headcount equal to 26%, 20% and 15%, respectively.

ManPower experts underline, and we fully share their view, the emergence of a new revolution, that of the skills made necessary by technological progress. Therefore, the true question is: will people really be able to upskill and adapt to such a fast-pacing world? The answer incorporates an all-human challenge to the times we live in. It is impossible to halt progress, and human beings must play an active role in this revolution. How? Investing in their own skills. There is no alternative and the risk is that of lagging behind and losing competitiveness: not because of machines, but because of our own inability to keep our skills up to date.

According to Manpower, the time has come to be able to upskill, and the capacity to keep our skills up to date will be the great equalizer to reduce the gap between those who – embracing this Revolution – are willing to upskill and those who, by not doing so, inevitably risk being cancelled from the labour market.

Skills revolution means a cultural and mindset revolution, both individual and collective. It means to be open to change, to embrace it so as to improve and survive. Every day. More and more.

We have long been ready for this… how about you?