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article imageEmployees are in need new training to work with robots

By Tim Sandle     Oct 1, 2019 in Business
Many modern economies are looking at an increasingly automated future. While advances are progressing with machines, a new survey finds businesses are concerned about inadequate workforce training.
The importance of having an adequately trained workforce is necessary to assist employees adapt to change, so that they can work alongside robots. The fact that few companies appear to be investing in this suggest that businesses are failing to prepare humans for the future of work.
The new survey comes from the analytics and advice firm, Gallup in relation to the U.K. workforce and it explores the need for technology to prepare workers for the future – a workplace where many will be undertaking tasks next to a robot. The data was collated over the course of 2018. The survey is titled “The Real Future of Work.”
A robotic hand  on display at the Barbican Centre  London.
A robotic hand, on display at the Barbican Centre, London.
The survey finds that most employees are not concerned about automation, mostly because they think this facet of digital transformation will not affect them. In fact, as many as 80 percent of workers do not expect their current job to be eliminated by technology and 58 percent think that technology will actually increase the number of jobs available (with only 21 percent being of the view that employment opportunities will fall). However, some analysts are predicting that artificial intelligence enabled machines and robots will take over 50 percent of human jobs within the next ten years.
However, employees do expect to receive regular training and to be trained in relation to digital technology and robotics where necessary. The survey found that just over half – 51 percent – of employees expect better training to prepare them for a digital future. The problem is that a sizable proportion of employees surveyed did not take part in training in any training, at 36 percent.
A robot called QRIO on display at the exhibition . designed by Sony.
A robot called QRIO on display at the exhibition,. designed by Sony.
This stands against the finding that around 60 percent of employees express the view that they need to develop their current skills while 57 percent are keen to develop new skills.
These findings clearly present some challenges for the future of work, according to Ghassan Khoury, Gallup EMEA Managing Partner, who states: “How to navigate the changing workforce needs at a time of rapid digital disruption across many industries is a challenge facing employers everywhere.”
He adds that “In an era of technological change, most employees are optimistic about the effects those changes will have on their work lives. This research shows that there is a keen workforce looking to upskill and improve, however, many are not given the opportunity to build on their current skills or to learn new skills due to a lack of training and development by employers.”
These findings suggest that employers need to be realistic about the types of jobs required in the future and where automation will hit, plus beginning the process of reskilling employees with the right levels of knowledge needed for the future types of work.
More about Automation, Robots, Employer, Employee, Jobs
 
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