61% of talents in Malaysia affected by automation
THERE’S been so much talk about artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation and other new and emerging modern technology expected to, and in some industries already, disrupting the workforce. These can sound scary for one not born into the world of smartphones and gadgets, such as those from the Gen X and Baby Boomers demographic cohort. However, with open mindsets, a willingness to learn and a lot of courage, as well as knowledge, experience and know-how, reports claim a work culture comprising of employees across a multi-generational workforce that is managed well, will thrive!
Still, there is anxiety, worry and fear across the age groups, due to digital disruption and change. This is further seen in results of a web poll conducted between Oct 2018 and Jan 2019 by recruitment firm Hays. It revealed that 61% of talents in Malaysia are affected by automation and we are leading the pack across Asia in this area. The poll was carried out across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
In Malaysia, 45% of survey respondents claimed they were partially subjected to the effects of automation. They stated that some of their tasks were now automated and non-routine duties have been increased; 16% said they were affected significantly by way of either a change in their job scopes or total job redundancy. Singapore, who came in just after Malaysia, presented figures that were almost similar - 41% / 20%; followed by Mainland China and Hong Kong which were at a tie; and Japan 45% / 7%, the least affected.
Hays Malaysia managing director, Tom Osborne said that the prospect of automation in the workplace, once feared as an impending threat to jobs throughout the economy, has arrived and we must acknowledge it.
“Contrary to prior sentiments, countless studies have subsequently found that while automation will indeed lead to the displacement of jobs, it will in turn, create even more opportunities. It will undoubtedly lead to disruption, but will also lead to ‘hollowing out’ of jobs distribution. Middle-skilled jobs will likely become obsolete while opportunities will grow for lower- and higher-skilled workers” he said.
His advice to employers - to equip their workforce to face the disruption that is already taking place by looking into training and development strategies. To employees, he recommends they be agile and adaptable in their approach to their careers.
“Talents across all sectors and industries can also stand to benefit from embracing technology and updating themselves with the technical knowledge and know-how needed to work alongside automation,” he concluded.