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AUTOMATION AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

In an era of rapid development in automation and artificial intelligence, a new research from McKinsey evaluates lost and earned jobs in different scenarios up to 2030

AUTOMATION AND THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

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POWERFUL NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY, IMPROVING EVERYDAY LIFE AND REMODELING THE WAY OF WORKING. BUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE HUMAN WORKFORCE?

The technology-driven world where we live in is a world full of promise but also of challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer service requests are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will replace some jobs that humans currently do, a development that has raised a lot of public concern.

The latest report by McKinsey Global Institute, "Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation", estimates the number and types of jobs that could be created in different scenarios related to technological development up to 2030 and simultaneously the research compares it to jobs that could be lost due to automation.

The findings reveal a rich mosaic of potential changes in professions and job market in the years to come, with important implications for the skills and wages of the workforce. However, the key finding is that, while there may be enough work to maintain full employment through 2030 in most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging, matching or even exceeding the scale of changes from agriculture and production that we witnessed in the past.

WHICH IMPACT WILL AUTOMATION HAVE ON HUMAN WORK?
According to a research conducted by McKinsey, about 60% of humans works globally could theoretically be automated using currently available technologies, implying therefore substantial transformations and changes in the workplace for all employees.

Additionally, while the technical feasibility of automation is important, it is not the only factor that will affect the pace and extent of automation adoption. Other factors to consider are the cost of developing and implementing automation solutions for specific uses in the workplace, the dynamics of the labor market (including the quality and quantity of work and associated wages), the benefits of automation with respect to human work and normative and social acceptance.

Taking these factors into account, the same study estimates that between nearly zero and 30 percent of hours worked globally could be automated by 2030, depending on the speed of adoption by individual countries. However, the potential impact of automation on employment varies by occupation and sector. The activities most susceptible to automation are those that involve the use of machinery, the preparation of sandwiches in fast food restaurants, and the collection and processing of data.

In this context, however, it is important to underline that even when some activities are automated, employment may not decrease, but rather workers can carry out new activities, thanks to a reskilling activity.

WILL THERE BE ENOUGH WORK IN THE FUTURE? THE IMPORTANCE OF RESKILLING OF THE LABOURFORCE
The changes in employment growth or decline following digital transformation in the years to come mean that a very large number of people may have to change occupational categories and learn new skills. From 75 million to 375 million may have to change professional categories and acquire new skills. McKinsey's survey estimates that between 400 million and 800 million people could be replaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world.

There is growing concern today as to whether there will be enough jobs given the potential for automation. History suggests that such fears may be unfounded: over time, as a result of technological revolutions, labor markets adapt to changes in labor demand, albeit sometimes with depressed real wages. Thus, if history is a guide, we might also expect that 8 to 9% of job demand in 2030 will be for new types of occupations that did not exist before.

Therefore, economic growth, innovation, investments with the consequent creation of new jobs may be sufficient to offset the impact of automation. However, McKinsey's research points out that some advanced economies will need additional investment to reduce the risk of job shortages.

A bigger challenge, on the other hand, will be to guarantee workers, who will be replaced by automation, the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to face the reskilling phase allowing them to fill that skills gap between job supply and demand resulting from the digital transformation. Countries that fail to manage this transition could see rising unemployment and falling wages.

HOW TO MANAGE THE RESKILLING OF THE WORKFORCE
Companies: they will be at the forefront and will have a fundamental role in the reskilling of their workforce. This will require them to reorganize their business processes, re-evaluate their strategies and staffing, carefully considering which people are needed, which ones can be redeployed to other jobs, and where new talent may be required. Many companies are finding that it is in their personal interest, as well as part of their social responsibility, to train and prepare workers for a new world of work.

Individuals will also need to be prepared to adapt to the new types of jobs required and keep pace with digital transformation. To date, the most requested profiles in the job market have become those able to fill those skills necessary to keep up with the digital transformation, such as data analyst, data protection officer, cyber security expert etc. Therefore, the acquisition of new skills and the reconsideration of the traditional way of working will be fundamental for one's individual and also working well-being.

THE GEEKS ACADEMY
In an interview with dunp, Antonio Venece director of the Geeks Academy, explains how the idea of founding Geeks in 2016 was born from the need to bridge the gap between the lack of specialized professional profiles and youth unemployment.

In fact, Geeks Academy was founded to bridge the growing gap of skills in the field of computer coding, artificial intelligence, data sciences, web security, blockchain, gaming and digital marketing and the consequent lack of professional profiles.

The goal, in fact, is precisely to be at the forefront and to provide through the various study programs lasting 6 months, courses ranging from the acquisition of basic, intermediate and specialized knowledge, obtaining then an all-encompassing preparation on topics inherent to the various paths and an immediate job opening.

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