The 4th Industrial Revolution is here!

By whole, both they and I mean World because as their name suggests their concern is not partisan for a single country but global and justified on the basis that change in China WILL affect the West just as change in Solihull (even at the iconic motor manufacturers based there) may or may not have equal reach.

But whilst reach is one thing, effect is another and what this report offers is insight into the whole issue of Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some people of course, are still struggling with the first 3 so this may come as a shock to them!

Ready or not, I urge everyone to take time to read through pages 5 – 40 because the nub of ensuring a successful future is all there. Not to give too much away but it’s important to flag up one of their observations that ‘Recent discussions about the employment impact of disruptive change have often been polarized between those who foresee limitless opportunities in newly emerging job categories and prospects that improve workers’ productivity and liberate them from routine work, and those that foresee massive labour substitution and displacement of jobs’.

As someone who believes that change is just like fashion; it all comes round again but just with a new name, it’s interesting to hear them say ‘Academics, chief executives and labour leaders hold strong and diverse views on the debate, as do policymakers’ making me wonder how we move forward if the decision makers themselves can’t agree on a) the problem and b) the solution/s.

They go on to say ‘It is clear from our data that while forecasts vary by industry and region, momentous change is underway and that, ultimately, it is our actions today that will determine whether that change mainly results in massive displacement of workers or the emergence of new opportunities’.

It’s not often I think academic reports have their feet in the commercial (or real as I like to call it) world but in this instance, I think they are absolutely spot on making a read of this report absolutely essential.

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