According to new research by the World Economic Forum (WEF), machines and automated software will take over half of all tasks on the shop floor within 7 years. According to the group, however, technologies such as artificial intelligence and robots create more jobs than they make disappear.

The research was carried out among top people and specialists in 12 industries, says Bloomberg. The conclusions show that the “fourth industrial revolution” provides 133 million jobs worldwide, while 75 million people would lose their jobs. On the contrary, earlier studies indicate that more jobs are being lost than are being created.

According to the WEF, the effects of automation may vary substantially in various industries. Most of the jobs, according to the organisation, are lost in the mining sector, as well as consumer-oriented companies and information technology. Within companies offering professional services, the fewest jobs are lost.

Less certainty

Many of the new jobs that are being created may offer less security than in the past. Companies are increasingly looking for contractors and freelancers. The organisation also warns that there is a significant gap between the skills that employees have now and the skills needed for possible future jobs.

According to the WEF, more than half of the employees in larger companies need significant retraining in order to take advantage of new opportunities created by digital technology. However, half of the companies would intend to offer retraining or further training only to people in the most important positions. Only a third of the companies would plan to retrain workers in the danger zone.

“Companies have a moral and economic need to invest in retraining and lifelong learning for their employees,” said Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF Center for the New Economy and Society. “Without proactive approaches, companies and employees may lose out.”

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.