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World Employment Conference 2018 visits Ireland!

World Employment Conference 2018 visits the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin, from June 6 to June 8.

The team here at HERO Recruitment are delighted to have been asked to take a seat on one of the panels at WEC 2018. I will be sitting on the panel for the ‘Reskilling for the future of work’ discussion on June 7.

The topic is something that is being discussed in the board rooms of all of the world’s largest companies, and in the offices of the smallest start-ups, because reskilling to meet future work demands and practices is a monumental challenge now facing all businesses globally.

People would have laughed 15 years ago if you had told them that we would be organising our entire lives on our phones today. They would have thought you were mad if you had said that the largest taxi firm in the world – Uber – did not own a single car, or that the world’s largest accommodation provider – AIR BnB – did not own a single rented property.

But this is the reality of the face paced, ever changing world of work we all live in. A report by Dell Technologies from 2017 suggests that a whopping 85 per cent of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not even been invented yet.

To meet these developments, a recent McKinsey Global Institute report – Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation – suggests that as many as 375 million workers, or 14 per cent of the global workforce, may need to switch occupational categories.

The report states: “There are few precedents in which societies have successfully retrained such large numbers of people.”

So, the question is: how can we as companies prepare for this seismic shift, when in reality we do not know precisely the skills that will be needed to meet future work demands, as automation, digitisation and AI drive us relentlessly into the unknown? It is questions like this that we will look to unravel at World Employment Conference 2018.

There is good news on this front. A recent study conducted in America – Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All – has shown that a large majority of European companies are committed to developing the skills of existing employees.

The difficulty is there is no concrete plan as to how to go about doing so. The reality is that we cannot see into the future, but we can, beginning now, keep up-to-date with developing trends, identify how technological advances will impact our own companies, and choose methods of retraining and reskilling our employees.

While it is clear that this task must be industry led, it must also be a team effort that includes Government, educational providers and all other stakeholders, in order for it to be a success.

And as employment evolves and changes, so too will the very nature of work itself. Work will no longer be a place people go to, but will become a thing that people do.

Technology is increasingly knocking down barriers, and in the future geography will not decide who works for which company and where. Instead, we will live in a world where employers set out the tasks at hand, and informational technology leads them to those most suited to them, wherever in the world they may be.

And while all of these changes are daunting, they are not to be feared, but embraced. Notions that machines and artificial intelligence will leave us jobless are not to be entertained. Yes, these new technologies will take on more of the manual work, but this merely means our roles will evolve in line with this development.

New and exciting job opportunities will be abundant; it is up to us as employers and employees to be ready to embrace them, and the only way of ensuring this is with a commitment from both parties to reskilling.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit World Employment Conference 2018, running from June 6 to 8 in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin. See you all there!

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