The phrase “workforce of the future” can be anxiety-provoking and conjures up a soulless world in which robots would steal our jobs. In reality, robots are already among us and they automate repetitive tasks, but not positions. The picture is less gloomy than you might think. Skills upgrading, training and personalized learning help employees adapt to new technologies and learn continuously. Watch the video to learn more about the future of work.
Jamie Perkins, Director of Learning Strategy and Certification, Autodesk: You have to look at your workforce like a garden. To thrive, your employees need constant attention and care.
Lisa Campbell, Marketing Director, Autodesk: Technological developments are a driving force behind the acceleration of the businesses of tomorrow. When you think about it, we automate tasks, but we don’t automate positions. For example, a workman’s job may consist of drilling holes in a ceiling on a construction site. Robots can perform this task with millimeter precision. This workstation will now consist of maintaining the robots.
Joe Speicher, Sr. Director of Impact Innovation, Autodesk: The Future of Work is a generic and somewhat catch-all phrase that describes the relationship between the labor market and businesses on the one hand and the workforce the other. I think this term “future of work” is not appropriate, because we are really talking about work as it is now. These changes are happening.
Campbell: We see that the pandemic is accelerating the adoption of technology and automation. Think about safety in a factory or on a construction site.
Speicher: The construction industry is currently lacking in manpower. And this is because the qualifications and skills required for these positions are new and constantly evolving. The construction and manufacturing sectors are looking for more specialized and technical profiles, but candidates are still lacking.
Campbell: Everyone is afraid of being replaced by robots. I don’t think automation cuts jobs. It automates tasks. The nuance is important.
Speicher: In the United States, technology is seen as a threat to jobs. In Japan, technology is helping to overcome some of the challenges of shrinking the labor market. 30% of the Japanese population is over the age of 60. Due to the shrinking workforce, companies must find ways to increase productivity while maintaining the same level of growth. Technology provides a solution to this problem.
Campbell: To meet the evolving needs of their jobs, employees need to upgrade their skills and train. These new skills are changing the nature of their work.
Perkins: In the 1980s, personal computers brought about a technological revolution. They have profoundly reshaped many workstations, both in offices and in warehouses. Their impact on working methods has been considerable. The changes brought about by AI and machine learning go far beyond a specific job. Their impact extends to all sectors and all positions, in particular the most repetitive jobs which generally require a lower level of skills and undergo the most profound upheavals.
Speicher: I think the idea that a high school diploma or higher prepares us for the rest of our careers is outdated. This means that governments must invest in education and that educational institutions must invest in lifelong learning.
Perkins: Training tends to be personalized. This personalization is data driven. Data captures behaviors and how tools are used. In Autodesk tools, like Fusion 360, a user’s data can guide them in their progress. Imagine a user who primarily uses the Fusion CAD workspace, but never the CAM workspace: this information is useful for a learner.
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