Robots will replace as many as 800 million workers worldwide by 2030, according to The McKinsey Global Institute. The report covered 46 countries and more than 800 different occupations.
Automation has become a serious threat for people who have physical jobs such as operating machinery or preparing fast food. Robots will also be flexible enough to target back-office employees and the majority of data processing.
The institute states that both developed and emerging countries will be affected and the changes will start to become noticeable in the next 13 years. During this interval, 400 million workers could be replaced by automation, according to the study.
Flexibility is key, as The McKinsey Institute recommends that people embrace retraining in different fields and be ready for potential transitions. Fortunately, there will be other occupational categories available once the robots take over, such as health-care providers for aging populations, technology specialists, and plumbers. The authors of the study do not expect automation to affect people who are involved in managing people or social interactions.
The problem with such a large scale reorientation falls on the government as well as on the employers.
„The model where people go to school for the first 20 years of life and work for the next 40 or 50 years is broken,” says Susan Lund, a partner for the Mckinsey Global Institute and co-author of the report. „We’re going to have to think about learning and training throughout the course of your career.”
Such a massive transition hasn’t been seen since the early 1900s when agriculture started to become industrialized and farmers shifted to factory workers. According to the consulting company, an effort on this scale will be akin to the Marshall Plan, when the US spent billion to rebuild Western Europe after World War II.
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