Are non-routine jobs the future?


Technology has drastically affected how we communicate, learn, relax, exercise, travel, and of course, work. For many employers, it has improved productivity, cost effectiveness and profit. Simultaneously, however, it has rendered certain roles redundant, affecting employees across a wide range of industries.

In 2015, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released a report which found that technology could make up to 40% of Australian jobs redundant in 10 to 15 years. Recent news articles from around the world are making similar conclusions, with the finger pointed squarely at artificial intelligence.

The CEDA report found that routine jobs, or those that involve lower levels of social interaction, creativity, or mobility and dexterity, were most at risk of being replaced. Previously, this meant the manufacturing, agriculture and mining industries were most affected, along w5ith customer service roles (supermarket and airline staff have already been partly replaced by self-service machines). In the future, however, the reach of robotics and automation is likely to impact other industries, such as health. As CEDA’s report stated, everything from clinical data and analytical diagnostics to surgery, nursing and pharmaceutical dispensary could be replaced by automation. Similarly, they found that the rise of driverless cars could severely impact the transport industry.

The Skills That Count

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. While jobs have become redundant in the past, new roles have emerged; many of the jobs in the digital marketing sector, for example, did not exist 10 years ago. The key point to recognise is that these new jobs require a higher level of skills. So the question is, if routine jobs are in danger of being obsolete, what kind of skills will be required to counteract this shift?

  • Social intelligence skills– The ability to interact confidently and positively with others involves a certain level of perceptiveness, empathy, negotiation and persuasiveness. These skills are vital in roles where social interaction is at its peak, such as counselling and coaching.

  • STEM skills – Science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions are leading the way now and into thew future. Much debate has centered around whether or not younger generations should be given greater encouragement to pursue these skillsets

  • Entrepreneurial and creative skills – As self-employment rates continue to boom, many workers are paving their own way to success. Meanwhile, employers can reap benefits when their employees bring both technical and creative skill sets to the table. With so much change occurring, a creative mind will be able to think of ways to take advantage of these changes

  • Digital skills – As ICT becomes integral to many jobs across the country, the need for digital literacy is becoming increasingly essential.

  • People management skills – With innovation at the forefront of success, managers who have the capability to nurture and grow talented employees remain as important as ever.

The Chandler Macleod blog provides job-seekers and employers alike with a range of insightful articles, whitepapers and skill profiles. Read our latest offerings today and stay up to date. For further information, contact us via phone or email.

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