The World Economic Forum (WEF) has urged countries around the globe to re-skill their workforce in new technologies, citing a projection from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that the fourth industrial revolution would lead to the destruction of 1.4 million jobs nationwide by 2026.
Without re-skilling, only 2% of workers would have the opportunity to transition into new jobs, the report says.
“At-risk workers who retrain for an average of two years could receive an average annual salary increase of $15,000 – and business would be able to find talent for jobs that may otherwise remain unfilled,” the report noted.
Without re-skilling, one in four of at-risk workers would lose on average of US$8,600 from their annual income, even if they are successful in moving to a new job.
Female workers are more vulnerable than males: of the 1.4 million jobs expected to be disrupted in US, the majority belongs to women.
An investment into re-skilling will be worthwhile for both employers and governments, as such an initiative would bolster global economies.
“Equipping people with the skills they need to make job transitions is the fuel needed for growth – and to secure stable livelihoods for people in the midst of technological change,” says Saadia Zahidi, Member of WEF’s Executive Committee.
Re-skilling, the report says, can create a wide range of job options and opportunities for professionals such as assembly-line workers, secretaries, cashiers, customer service representatives, truck drivers, radio and TV announcers, fast-food chefs, mining machine operators, and computer programmers.