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Irish workers worried automation will threaten their job

4 min

Deputy Head of the Journalism and Media Communications Faculty Robbie Smyth discusses how the world of work is poised for change.

More than 40% of Irish adults are concerned automation and robotics technology will replace their current job role, according to a new national survey undertaken by Griffith College and Opinions Market Research.

The survey of more than 1,000 adults highlighted that 42% were either somewhat or very concerned about the threat of automation, while 64% were worried that current technology skills will become outdated.

Highlighting the need for continuous, lifelong learning, 70% of adults agree there is a need to develop transferable skills to provide career security and flexibility. The findings highlight the need to upskill throughout our working lives. Developing strong, transferable skills, particularly those that complement technical skill sets, is one of the best ways to future-proof your career.

David Cullen, CEO at Opinions Market Research, said, “This survey demonstrates the considerable anxiety that exists around skills redundancy. People understand that a flourishing career necessitates an investment in continuous development. Those who have committed to doing so are embracing the greater range of options that exist including part-time, full-time and blended/online learning options”.

A recent Deloitte Human Capital Trends report found that 64% of millennials working full-time are interested in extra contract work to boost their incomes. When you consider what some are terming the 4th industrial revolution where technological change involves long-term societal impacts and a series of studies have heralded a systemic change in employment, workers need to have the rights skills to take advantage of a changing labour market.

For example, a 2017 McKinsey report predicted that 800 million jobs will be lost globally by 2030. Up to 375 million people will have to switch jobs as their existing role disappears. In the differing waves of employment trends since the industrial revolution, there has been a series of massive displacements of workers with some occupations disappearing and new ones emerging.

We need to balance this and remember that there are more people at work today than ever before and people will change their job many times in their career, as they seek not just better income, but better quality more engaging jobs.

In Griffith College, we launched a new campaign this year. Titled An Eye on the Future, its aim is to highlight the importance of developing soft and transferable skills. The campaign aims to raise awareness that learners will need to continually upskill over the course of their careers, utilising strong transferable skills to flexibly respond to changes within the workplace.

Want to future-proof your career?

At Griffith College, we have a wide variety of full-time, part-time, and blended courses in everything from Business to Design. View our full list of courses and learn more about preparing for the future of work.