The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) refers to the various technological advancements including, digitisation, robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence impacting the globe. This new reality has a distinct and disruptive impact on the workplace and specifically the workforce, as technology replaces repetitive, manual and process-driven work and imposes new skills set requirements on workers. A decrease in the need for specific types of workers is ill-received by stakeholders grappling with the realities of digitisation, despite many of the same  stakeholders enjoying  the benefits and  convenience of digitalised products and services.

“Technological advancements are causing the banking industry to adapt on a global scale – this is in response to growing economic pressure as well as the ever-evolving way consumers desire access to financial services” SASBO secretary-general, Joe Kokela

What can be done?

We cannot deny nor ignore the 4IR and its associated technological developments.  it. The South African workforce stands a better chance of surviving this revolution if individuals have the right mix of skills to allow them to keep pace with the evolving landscape. Now, more than ever, workers need to focus on maintaining relevant skills (particularly digital and emotional intelligence)as they will need to transition between work projects and relationships multiple times. It is already estimated that by the age of 30, workers would have worked across more than 200 projects and held more than 10 jobs.

Private Employment Agencies, including Temporary Employment Services (TES), are responsive to these changes and are in fact recognised globally as labour market enablers – providing solutions, not only to the organisations that require flexibility to adjust to competitive conditions, but also to individual employees and new entrants who need to navigate multi-contracts and regular skills and work transitions. TES intermediate talent between areas of demand and supply.

TES provide valuable services to both employers and workers, enabling them to navigate 4IR changes.

Did you know? The Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES) represents on average 700 000 workers per day.

It has been said that AI will largely replace IQ but that DQ (digital intelligence) and EQ (emotional intelligence) will be crucial baseline competencies. Building ongoing skills on top of this foundation is vital because there is a strong correlation between learning-unlearning-relearning and sustained economic mainstreaming. Sixty percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 do not yet exist and well-prepared employees can adapt easier to the changing requirements of industries. Labour markets need to become more dynamic to encourage investment, improve global competitiveness and maintain employment levels. With the arrival of 4IR organisations will have to invest in ongoing training to keep their employees current and provide their businesses with the best chance of success. It is crucial to ensure that when businesses invest in skills development, that they consciously include a large component of new skills. This will assist employers in avoiding large scale retrenchments and displacements of workers as has been the case in a number of industries already. .

Registering with a legal and compliant TES agency is free! Never pay to get placed.

For more information, visit www.capes.org.za