WEF says that 14 million jobs will disappear in next 5 years

Jobs most at risk of falling away in the country over the next five years are secretaries, telemarketers, accountants and auditors, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) study.


The 2023 Future of Jobs Report, published on Monday by the WEF, said the highest increase in demand was expected for business development professionals, data analysts and scientists and digital transformation specialists.


The report identifies green transition and localisation of supply chains as drivers of job growth in SA and globally.


In SA, 70% of companies believe the broader application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards will drive job growth, followed by investments in green transition (41%) and broadening digital access  (39%) .


The strongest net job creation effects of higher investment in the green energy transition and climate change mitigation will be for roles such as renewable energy engineers and solar energy installation and systems engineers.


The investment would also drive growth in more generalist sustainability roles, such as sustainability specialists (33%) and environmental protection professionals (34%), translating to growth of about 1 million jobs, the report said.


Research by career networking social media platform LinkedIn, which contributed to the report, found continued growth in green jobs in the past four years, but reskilling and upskilling towards green skills were not keeping pace.


Green skills


“The sustained growth of green jobs is really great news, particularly for job seekers who are facing upheaval in the labour market,” said Sue Duke, head of LinkedIn global public policy.


“But LinkedIn’s data is clear that while there’s strong demand for talent with green skills, people are not developing green skills at anywhere near a fast enough rate to meet climate targets,” Duke said.


“There is an opportunity for everyone to help turn this around. Governments must champion the green skills [development] agenda and businesses can and must do more to equip their employees with the skills needed to deliver genuine environmental change.”


Globally, nearly a quarter of jobs would change in the next five years, the report said.


The survey on which the report is based was conducted among 803 of the world’s largest employers, employing more than 11.3-million workers in 27 industries. It found that among those jobs corresponding to the data set in the report, there would be a net loss of 2% of the current employment by 2027.


Survey respondents, the report said, expected structural job growth of 69-million jobs and a loss of 83-million jobs, a net decrease of 14-million jobs.


The three key drivers of expected net job destruction are slower economic growth, supply shortages and rising input costs, and the cost of living for consumers. Globally, technology and digitalisation are driving the increase of some jobs and the decrease in other areas. For example, among the fastest growing roles are those that support digitalisation such as in artificial intelligence and machine learning.


Meanwhile, roles that will decrease fastest are those that can be digitised to a greater extent such as for clerks and secretaries, with bank tellers and related clerks, postal service clerks, cashiers and ticket clerks and data entry clerks, expected to drop fastest.


Job gains


The largest absolute gains in jobs will, however, come from education (for vocational education teachers and university and higher education teachers) and agriculture (for agricultural equipment operators, graders and sorters).


World Economic Forum MD Saadia Zahidi, in an interview for the Radio Davos podcast published on the forum’s website, said cognitive skills topped the list of those deemed to be of greatest importance for workers in the rest of the year.


“Employers simply have to think very differently about skills, instead of relying on traditional signals of what indicates a skill in a person.


“Is it where they got their degree from, what type of degree do they have or which workplace did they work in previously or is it actually what they can demonstrate in the workplace?” she said.


“If employers take a more skills-first approach when it comes down to hiring, retention and promotion, they will actually be able to assess people based on what they know.


“Another big win out of this is if you put the skills-based agenda forward and move a little bit away from traditional signals like university credentials then more people have an opportunity,” Zahidi said.

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 May 2023 06:53