OTTAWA — Research from the Conference Board of Canada, in partnership with the Future Skills Centre, found upgrading of Canadian workers’ skills is critically important as up to 47 per cent of jobs are at risk of being lost to automation or being radically transformed by technology in the coming years.
Many workers have few options to transition into lower-risk occupations without significant retraining, indicates a release, adding employers need to help workers better prepare for future job transitions and digital transformations.
According to the research, there are several common influences impacting automation adoption across different sectors of the economy: digital applications becoming more commonplace, mobile devices changing how employees work and interact, and increasing experimentation with automation.
It also found most managers feel confident about how open their organizations are to adopting new technologies, however they feel less prepared to take full advantage of the potential benefits and are less confident about compatibility issues with existing technologies.
Some of the barriers that deter organizations from investing in new technologies and retraining employees include reactive responses toward new technologies, rather than proactive; inadequate workforce know-how for operating new technologies due to labour shortages; insufficient testing opportunities; and inconsistent regulations within industries, the release states.
“In the coming years, Canadians are going to need the right technical skills and complementary social and emotional skills to meet emerging economic trends head-on,” said Pedro Barata, executive director of the Future Skills Centre, in a statement. “Employers and business leaders need to be mindful of which technology they adopt and how it will impact their workforce.”