Future of work & skills development

It's known that technological changes such as automation and AI are transforming the skills required in the workforce and skills such as creativity, problem solving and critical thinking are becoming more important. I'm interested to your views on: a) what do you think is the role of HR and the wider organisation in supporting workers in gaining these skills vis-a-vis their own responsibility in gaining these specific skills, b) how do you measure these specific skills in the hiring process outside of the standard interview questions c) how do you encourage lifelong learning in your organisation for people to improve in these specific areas?hiring

  • Welcome to the community Olivia.

    I think people have been stating that sort of thing, correctly or incorrectly ever since the tractor replaced the horse on farms and probably since the industrial revolution.

    Sort of question academics ask of students every year I'd say. Bit difficult to 'train people in creativity problem solving and critical thinking. They have always been important.
  • You raise an interesting question.

    I recently heard Ravin Jesuthasan - co-author of the new book Reinventing Jobs with John Boudreau - talk on this topic.

    He said that some of the changes AI will bring are so complex and so rapid in arriving that employees may not be aware of them or understand their implications. It's therefore down to employers to monitor this horizon and advise employees accordingly.
  • Hi Olivia.

    I have found that involving people in the identification of automation opportunities not only helps identify efficiency potential and supports successful implementation but it absolutely develops some of the skills you reference. This has to be carefully positioned culturally since people may be suspicious of anything that threatens their job security. HR play an important role in supporting the strategy of efficiency through automation by working in conjunction with the operation to identify development opportunities through projects, workshops etc. Migrating people from non judgement roles that can be automated to value add roles is the way we are moving. Against that backdrop, people need support to build confidence in their ability to expand their skills.
  • In reply to Rhian:

    Hi Olivia and Rhian
    Welcome to the community.
    I concur with Rhian that involving people in identifying areas for automation will support transition and facilitate implementation.
    For this reason the Big 4 consulting firms are advocating studies of STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths which are subjects calling for regular updates and adaptation of skills and competences to complement machines.
    PWC even adds to it Art and Design ..... turning it into STEAM rather

    I think roles will evolve more into those requiring analysis and judgment as routine repetitive prescriptions get automated. Whilst this seems an interesting development, I am concerned that this would shift jobs further towards the intellectual arena and I am wondering about the millions of people who do earn a living doing routine low skilled repetitive roles.

    You may as well wish to check Charles Handy’s book on the Butterfly Economy that speaks about growing entrepreneurship and therefore a drastic move towards the gig economy.

    Finally I can see the upcoming generation being particularly concerned about embracing strong ESG causes which means that these are likely to take more importance in future.
    Hope this helps