Dear all, we may all lose our jobs at some point in the future. Oxford university economists Dr Carl Frey and Dr Michael Osborne say that 40 percent of all jobs would be lost to automation. It means that 40 percent of our friends or even including us may not get to keep our jobs. According to both of them, this may happen by 2050. Here’s that article in theguardian.com This is what Paul Mason, emerging technologies director for Innovate UK said, The future of work will soon become “the survival of the most adaptable.” (It’s not just adaptability apparently, it may even be this. “Workers of the future will need to be highly adaptable and juggle three or more different roles at a time,” says Anand Chopra-McGowan, head of enterprise new markets for General Assembly. There are many more views within the article but this is its conclusion: “The nature of work is going to change – the jobs of tomorrow won’t be the same as jobs of today.”
What are our thoughts about our job today? Perhaps people managers may think that robots can never replace management capabilities. How could robots attend to the general questions posted by the staffs on a daily basis? Middle managers may lose their jobs first, according to Adage.com According to the same article, robots may make much better doctors BUT it is unlikely to replace all the shortages of doctors today. In an article in theguardian.com, Martin Ford, futurist and author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, explains the jobs that are most at risk are those which “are on some level routine, repetitive and predictable”. (Note the three words, ‘routine, repetitive and predictable.’ Then, look at what we are currently doing. Does it take someone many years to learn what we are currently doing or perhaps anyone can do what we do within weeks or months? Many times, we may not need some researchers from a top university to tell us the results of their study. We may know best.)
Here in Malaysia, we are also seeing a similar trend too. According to an article in theedgemarkets.com, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that loss of labour-intensive jobs are certain but these would continue to be replaced with high skilled ones. He said, “As you lose some jobs, you create new job opportunities. So the structure of work will change. This is happening in many developed countries where the services sector becomes more important.” In terms of retrenchment trends, 2017 saw 30,414 local workers being let go and this is 6.57% lower than 2016’s 32,552. On an overall basis, Malaysian Investment Development Authority revealed that a total of 56,420 job opportunities were created from approved investments in 2017.
I am more worried about the retraining of workers who were labour-intensive ones into high-skilled ones. It may not happen if the retraining fails or if the workers themselves refuse to move up. When this happens, it will become a social issue. However, if Malaysia is to move up the value chain, there really is not much choice. Job losses will continue to happen because of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 Looking ahead however, there’s one thing all of us must do; investing our wealth. Even a savings of a few hundred every month and a continuous investment meant that our wealth doubles every few years. The right property bought may also bring lucrative returns too. Read more, learn more and take actions. Cheers.
written on 7 March 2018
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