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#AutomationOnRise: Did A Bot Render You Jobless?

A recent prediction states that automation is expected to slash 3 million IT jobs by 2022 whereas in mid-June, IT industry body NASSCOM said that the top five Indian IT companies are planning to add over 96,000 employees in 2021-22. HR experts ponder on how the integration of automation will rise and affect the nature of work and the workforce

Photo Credit : Picture credit- govdevsecopshub.com

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While automation is nothing new happening in some sectors like the automobile industry but it is spreading across other industries comparatively at a faster pace. It is a no-new thing that automation and machines have made jobs obsolete in the past as many disruptions have turned around the world of work. Even a study estimates that about 4,00,000 jobs were lost to automation in U.S. factories from 1990 to 2007.

According to CMIE, around 12.2 Crore Indians have lost their jobs during the peak of the coronavirus in April 2020 itself and is again followed by a major second wave hit in April 2021 that rendered 1 Crore people jobless across the nation. Pandemic has affected the job economy severely while some of the jobs have come back, some are expected to never return. As the latest studies reflected, companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro may cut 30 lakh IT jobs by 2022 due to automation

 Automation To Eliminate Jobs Not Work
The most worrying trend right now is that conventional market jobs are at a high risk of automation. According to NASSCOM, recently, the domestic IT sector employs around 16 million, out of which around 9 million are employed in low-skilled services and BPO roles. Experts assert and are highly optimistic to witness automation creating newer job roles that call for skill development according to the current job demands.

“In our industry, what we a see is not a replacement but the addition of skills due to automation, especially in areas related to digital, e-commerce, AI, machine learning, among others. This would mean companies need to focus more on upskilling as well as reskilling of its workforce across levels, ramping up their capability-building efforts," said Sameer Wadhawan, Head, Human Resources, Samsung India.

Recently, LinkedIn’s emerging jobs in India 2021 report reveals a list of top in-demand skills and jobs for upcoming years in the Indian talent market that is BlockChain developer, Artificial intelligence Specialist, JavaScript Developer, Robotic Process Automation Consultant, Back-end developer.

“It is clear that organisations will have to prioritize and adopt a learning-led approach to grow in a digitally transforming market. Skills have now become the new currency and as our engagement with technology increases, so will the requirement of talent with skill sets that are very different than that exist today,” indicates Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India.

Data shows that ‘digitization’ and ‘virtual’ operations have created a strong demand for tech-related jobs which were up 13 per cent in January 2021 from a year ago. Skilled technical roles such as Application Developer, Lead Consultant, Salesforce Developer, and Site Reliability Engineer grew between 150 - 300 per cent were the most sought-after roles across sectors in the same period.

Investment in reskilling is imperative to build a future-fit workforce

The world is rapidly transforming and advancing towards newer jobs and newer skills, creating exciting opportunities for the technology workforce. The jobs lost will be equally compensated by the surge in demand for AI and ML skilled technologists. It is essential for employees to consistently stay relevant by reskilling and upskilling themselves in regular intervals. “One has to keep in mind that investments in reskilling initiatives may take several years to show returns but are important investments that are an imperative today, to prepare for the future," propounds Samsung’s Wadhawan.

Evolution is critical in business and life – for survival and success. Automation and emerging technologies will alter the business enablers, interfaces, and experiences of the industry to drive a productivity revolution and transform the future of work,” said Vijay Sivaram, CEO, Quess IT Staffing.

A recent report reveals that faster automation is driven by the shrinking talent pool of high-skilled jobs in developing economies. The report also indicates that India and China are at the greatest risk of skills disruption, while ASEAN, the Persian Gulf and Japan are at the least risk. HR leaders are rapidly working on skilling the workforce to address the increasing demand for job roles in areas of automation, technology, software coding and many more. According to a prediction, the workforce across the nation might have to face IT companies slashing 3 million jobs by 2022 due to automation, to save $100 billion in cost but companies are focused and intensively investing in building a future-ready workforce for turbulent times ahead.


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