Automation and Reskilling the American Workforce

Fulcrum Labs
138 posts

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study published last year, 38 percent of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years, and nearly 40 percent of jobs in the U.S. may be vulnerable to replacement by robots in the next fifteen years.

Automation is affecting jobs in industries like food services, transportation and even retail. For example, some restaurants now are using robots to deliver food and are deploying self-ordering kiosks for customers. There are driverless cars in California, Washington, and Texas. And Amazon now has around 15,000 robots that work along its 50,000 humans.

It’s clear that workers will have to learn new skills to compete for remaining jobs. But who’s responsible for this reskilling? Will we turn to our education systems, corporate training, or government-funded jobs programs to do the heavy lifting? Or, should we instead look to the companies that are upending current work opportunities to provide job training for those whom their innovations are replacing?

Reskilling Provided by Tech Industry Leaders

According to recent article published in The Atlantic, some of the burden might fall on the technology and ecommerce providers who are “changing the nature of work.” And many in these industries are already providing reskilling services. Here’s how some tech giants are helping workers build the computer literacy skills that are becoming increasingly necessary:

Apple – The company’s LearnQuest initiative trains people on how to develop apps, understand Apple products and get Apple-authorized certificates that demonstrate their proficiencies to employers.

Google – As we covered on this blog previously, last year Google announced it would invest $1 billion over the next five years in reskilling the American workforce. This donation will go to nonprofits that provide skills and education for the modern workforce.

Amazon – With the retail giant’s Career Choice Program, the company pre-pays for 95 percent of an employee’s tuition for certificate and associate’s degree programs in high-demand occupations, including those outside of Amazon.

The Ideal Platform for Reskilling

Those displaced by automation might find it difficult to transition to new skills and new opportunities. Now, more than ever, people need on demand access to training that’s proven to help them master and remember new skills. Personalized, adaptive learning is one of the most effective methods for up skilling these individuals – and the ideal platform:

  • Replicates some of the key benefits of a one-on-one tutor
  • Leverages machine learning to optimize the learning experience
  • Allows learners to go at their own pace
  • Incorporates microlearning and competency-based learning, and
  • Is iOS and Android compatible, so learners can engage with content whenever they find a spare moment to learn

Tell us what role you think technology and ecommerce organizations have to play in reskilling workforces displaced by their innovations. What is your organization doing to train workers possibly displaced by automation? We’d love to hear from you. Find out more about Fulcrum Labs and learn how our technology is ideal for transitioning employees to new skill-based roles.