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ManpowerGroup has carried out research into the impact of robots in the workplace in South Africa. The report, titled ‘Humans Wanted: Robots Need You’ interviewed 19,000 employers in 44 countries. Employers were asked about the impact of automation on job growth in their organisations in the next two years; the functions they plan to increase headcount the most, and the types of skills they are looking for; and the talent strategies they are implementing to ensure a future-fit workforce. Here are the results.

Report results:

Employers are being proactive in the face of rapid advancement of technology. 87% of employers interviewed indicated their plan to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation. This contradicts a general fear that robots will be taking over the workplace, to the detriment of humans. Instead of reducing employment opportunities, organisations are investing in digital, shifting tasks to robots and creating jobs. Organisations are also investing in digital, shifting tasks to robots and creating jobs. Companies are scaling their up-skilling programs so that their human workforce can perform new and complementary roles to those done by machines.

“As the employment and work environment continues to evolve, employers have an important role to play in terms of creating a culture of learning and working to build talent. Automation is changing the way that organisations operate. said ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar.“Learnability needs to be encouraged and nurtured – not only for the sake of the employee but for the sake of each and every organisation operating in the modern world.”

Upskilling is the future

A major focus by employers is on upskilling their workforce. They focus on this to prepare their workforce for the fourth industrial revolution. 84% of organisations expect to be upskilling their workforce by 2020.

“With the lifespan of skills shorter than ever, learnability is becoming the new ‘must have’ trait for employees to have – that is the ability and desire to grow and adapt one’s skillset to stay employable for the long term,” said van den Barselaar.“In order for any organisation to succeed, they need to play their part in creating a culture of learnability amongst their employees, and employees need to recognise the importance of up-skilling to stay relevant and employable. This is certainly ahead of experience in terms of desirable characteristics.”

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