Future of Work: Job Skills in the Age of AI

The world is rapidly digitising, and the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) skills is also on the rise. A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that by 2030, 14% of jobs will likely be automated. The numbers differ greatly among countries (6.5% in Norway vs 34.6% in the Slovak Republic) and across different occupations (Fig. 1). Thus, postal and courier services, land transport, and food services face a higher risk of automation (up to 50.1%) than CEOs and senior officials (around 1.1%).

Such an impact on a large share of jobs means that workers will need not just to UP-skill but even completely RE-skill to remain competitive, and businesses start to respond to this request. According to Harvard Business Review, Amazon has transformed thousands of employees with minimal machine learning experience into experts in the field thanks to its Machine Learning University. Similarly, Ericsson has upskilled more than 15,000 employees in AI and automation through multiyear strategy focused on transforming telecommunications experts into AI and data-science specialists.

The integration of AI in workplaces is nonetheless a double-edged sword. Thus, in 2022, the OECD studied how AI affects people and workplaces in manufacturing and finance in seven countries. The results showed that integrating AI can lead to favourable outcomes, including increased job satisfaction, improved health, and higher wages. However, concerns about privacy infringement, increased workload, and potential bias also arise, highlighting the need for careful consideration and management of AI integration.

Image Source: OECD Report (2021). https://www.oecd.org/future-of-work/reports-and-data/what-happened-to-jobs-at-high-risk-of-automation-2021.pdf

References:

Lane, M., M. Williams and S. Broecke. (2023). The impact of AI on the workplace: Main findings from the OECD AI surveys of employers and workers. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, [online] No. 288, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ea0a0fe1-en.

Nedelkoska, L. and G. Quintini. (2018). Automation, skills use and training. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, [online] No. 202. OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2e2f4eea-en.

Tamayo, J. (2023). Reskilling in the age of AI. Harvard Business Review, [online] https://hbr.org/2023/09/reskilling-in-the-age-of-ai

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