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Will humans be in greater demand as jobs are automated? This report thinks so

As automation affects more and more industries, it’s reasonable to think that jobs traditionally done by humans will start to disappear, as workers are replaced with robots.

But a recent report suggests that the opposite is actually true. It found that more employers than ever (87%) are planning to increase or maintain headcount in the next two years, as a result of automation.

The report from ManpowerGroup, ‘Humans Wanted: Robots Need You’, surveyed 19,000 employers in more than 40 countries on the likely impact of automation on job growth. It found that organisations that are already automating tasks and transforming digitally are most confident about increasing headcount.


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With global talent shortages at a 12-year high and new skills appearing as fast as others disappear, found ManpowerGroup, more companies than ever are planning to build talent, with 84% of employers planning to upskill their workforce by 2020.

“The focus on robots eliminating jobs is distracting us from the real issue,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO.

“More and more robots are being added to the workforce, but humans are too. Tech is here to stay and it's our responsibility as leaders to become Chief Learning Officers and work out how we integrate humans with machines.”

Prising said that the company is ‘reskilling’ people from declining industries like textiles to prepare them for jobs in high-growth industries, such as cyber-security, advanced manufacturing and autonomous driving.

“If we focus on practical steps to upskill people at speed and at scale, organizations and individuals really can befriend the machines.”

The report also found rapidly growing demand for IT skills, with 16% of the companies questioned expecting to increase IT headcount, five times the number that expect it to decrease.

Production and manufacturing employers anticipate the greatest change in headcount, with 25% expecting to employ more people in the next year and 20% saying they will employ fewer.


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