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Time to reskill, warns WEF

The ‘future of work’ has already arrived, accelerated by Covid-19, claims the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its third Future of Jobs report.

This predicts that automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will displace 85 million jobs in medium and large organisations by 2025. With more than 80% of businesses fast forwarding plans to digitise work processes and deploy new technologies, WEF says data entry, accounting and administrative support roles will be particularly hard hit.

More than four in 10 businesses (43%) say they plan to reduce their workforce due to technology integration, compared to 34% that plan to increase their headcount. Digitisation will also support a significant expansion of remote working, with employers identifying the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.

However, there will still be net new jobs, with 97 million new roles emerging in the care economy, in fourth industrial revolution technology industries like cloud computing and artificial intelligence, in the green economy and in content creation.

Employers expect to have to reskill and redeploy 46% of current employees within their own organisation in the next five years.

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