Workers with weaker foundational skills could find themselves left behind
There is no denying that automation related job losses are in the news nowadays and they are also a reason for worry for many employees who are constantly concerned about their future in a rapidly changing work environment.
It is true that new technology creates jobs but automation will also hurt workers who are into routine and manuals jobs, according to an Asian Development Bank report.
The report added that new jobs will appear, but they may require skills that such workers do not possess. Further, as firms and industries adjust to new ways of producing and distributing goods and services, the resulting disruptions along existing supply chains may cause unemployment.
In addition to more job losses, routine and manual workers will likely experience lower wage growth, worsening income inequality
Workers with weaker foundational skills could find themselves left behind. Foundational skills along with digital literacy and teamwork ability—support transition into jobs that require higher intensity of non-routine and cognitive tasks.
Without adequate skills development or retraining, workers with weaker foundational skills face hurdles in seizing the opportunities that new technologies provide.
Even some cognitively oriented but routine jobs may be displaced. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is a case in point. With the advent of new technologies, such jobs are likely to decline as a share of all BPO jobs.
There will be new opportunities driven by greater demand for more complex BPO services, which can expand along with technologies. But they will require more specialized training.
Workers employed as medical transcriptionists, for example, may lose their jobs to increasingly sophisticated software able to recognize voice, text, and image signals.Transitioning these workers into non-routine cognitive jobs in the BPO industry will require retraining and skills development.