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Here’s why soft skills will be in demand in future amid automation?

By 2020, it is expected that 42% of the core skills required for a job will change. Apac’s talent crunch is exacerbated because the region exports more talent than it imports. Globally, an average of 42% of the core skills required to perform a job will change by 2022

education Updated: Jun 26, 2019 12:22 IST
Dhirendra Tripathi
Dhirendra Tripathi
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
         

A LinkedIn report, Future of Skills, based on data points from member engagement on the social media platform as well as a survey of employees in Australia, India, Japan and Singapore, highlights the need to develop soft skills in an automated world. Mint analyses the report that says innovation and communication will be just as important as number skills in the future.

What does the report say about availability of skilled labour in the Asia-Pacific Region (Apac)?

According to a report on global talent crunch by US-based management consulting firm Korn Ferry, Apac will by 2020 face a labour shortage of 12.3 million workers at an annual opportunity cost of $4.2 trillion.

At the heart of this crunch lies skills instability. By 2020, it is expected that 42% of the core skills required for a job will change. Apac’s talent crunch is exacerbated because the region exports more talent than it imports. Globally, an average of 42% of the core skills required to perform a job will change by 2022. As many as 80% of the CEOs surveyed in the report were worried about the availability of key skills.

Why are soft skills becoming important?

Even as tech skills remain the most in demand, soft skills are growing in prominence. This is because tech is breaking out of its silos, and soft skills such as creativity, problem solving and critical thinking are in demand to help expand the application of new technology. The LinkedIn report shows that creativity, adaptability, collaboration and time management allow people to navigate new information and make decisions effectively. In India, 60% of employees feel that soft skills are important for career progression, while 89% of Apac executives say it is difficult to find people with soft skills.

What are the emerging skills in demand?

Skills such as machine learning, data visualization and statistical analysis have seen a rise in adoption—skills deemed relevant to job demands in the future. Automation is driving demand for those who know coding, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The survey says demand for talent with emerging skills is three times that of the rest of the talent base. While robots and automation displace routine work done by humans, 44% of surveyed Apac talent say higher level thinking will remain vital. Up to 43% of Apac employees say soft skills will help them adjust and retrain to retain their roles.

How will companies tackle disruption?

The survey finds committing to learning and development (L&D) before the skills are needed lets a business plan for and anticipate disruption.

Shorter, targeted and achievable courses that equip employees with skills they can use in their work are the most valuable for talent and organizations alike.

In the report, 41% of Apac professionals say online learning helps in career progression.

What are the obstacles faced in upskilling?

Lack of time is the biggest hurdle for employees in undertaking L&D work. In India, 60% of those surveyed blamed time for holding them back in this regard. This is followed by cost (37%), accessibility (33%), resources (31%) and interest (30%). India fares the worst here, with 45% of employees leaving a company because it lacked L&D prospects.

The most significant barrier to companies delivering L&D programmes is their ability to generate employee engagement.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 12:22 IST

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