Artificial Intelligence

AI and Automation could displace 46,000 jobs by 2023

A further 12,000 jobs expected to go unfilled in the ICT sector in the next two years alone.
Image: Stockfresh

23 April 2019

According to a government report, AI and automation are putting 46,000 jobs at risk over the next five years. A lack of ICT talent in Ireland also threatens employment growth. As it stands, 12,000 jobs are expected to go unfilled in the sector over the next two years.

Reports also claim that one third of the population fear job loss due to automation.

While Ireland’s tech industry is growing, demand for digitally skilled staff is higher than the supply. The government report, Digital Transformation: Assessing the Impact of Digitalisation on Ireland’s Workforce- finds up to 46,000 jobs at risk from the adoption of digital technologies in the next five years. Repetitive, manual tasks can be replaced by automation. High risk sectors include agriculture, retail, transport, hospitality and manufacturing.

Code Institute’s new white paper -The Digital Skills Crisis -Time to Act- delves into the potential changes the workforce will face due to automation and AI and the impact that the digital skills gap will have on the Irish economy in the future.

Crucially, the white paper argues that these losses are not inevitable. With proper planning and digital upskilling of the workforce this can not only be avoided but more jobs can be created.

Currently, technology is growing within organisations, yet there is a massive lack of digitally skilled employees to match demand for ICT roles.  

At the launch of the white paper, Jim Cassidy, CEO of Code Institute said, “The shortage of ICT talent that is threatening employment growth across the globe, is also a significant issue here in Ireland. Over the next two years, an expected 12,000 jobs are to go unfilled in the Irish ICT sector, which will have a direct knock-on impact on productivity and growth.”

Traditional education providers are struggling to meet the demand for digitally skilled graduates. According to the European Commission, Ireland has one of the lowest levels of basic digital skills in the EU. This is a cause for concern as 90% of jobs in the future will require digital skills. To conquer this, significant government investment is needed in the digitisation of education.

Moves need to be made to educate and upskill employees. Human-resource
departments need to reassess their recruitment process and focus, not just on
computer science graduates, but vocationally trained staff too.

Also speaking at the white paper launch, David Kirwan, head of technology in Accenture Ireland, said, “There is a much broader group of people out there who could be working in the technology sector. Everybody does not need to have a third-level college degree in order to work in the IT industry.”

Recommendations involving retention and reskilling capabilities of staff were also made in the white paper. By auditing existing talents and capabilities, organisations can capitalise on them as opportunities arise. A learning and development model which offers satisfactory, regular skill training to all members of staff is also endorsed.

Jim Cassidy said; “As businesses scramble to transform digitally, we have quickly come to realise that we have fallen into a digital skills crisis. Our White Paper offers actionable solutions to Human Resource and Learning and Development departments that can aid in tackling their talent shortages.”

TechCentral Reporters

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