Executives estimate that 40% of their workforce will need to reskill as a result of implementing AI and automation over the next three years, an IBM survey found.
Considering the size of the global workforce, that could translate to 1.4 billion people, according to World Bank statistics.
With this in mind, Canada’s employment outlook for 2024 reflects a blend of optimism, challenges, and strategic shifts within the workforce, suggests a recent analysis from Vancouver-based hiring agency Marmalade Recruitment.
For example, a likely uptick in unemployment aligns with an anticipated recession in 2024, marked by two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
This recession, aimed at curbing inflation through high interest rates, may turn around with rate cuts in the third quarter, according to Marmalade.
In the meantime, businesses are predicted to face several challenges in 2024, the company believes, including cash flow constraints, heightened competition, and increased labour costs driven by a competitive talent market.
And this is while a “substantial transformation in the job market” occurs, driven by AI and automation, spurring a “shift towards more technologically integrated roles and the need for continuous skill development.”
As AI and automation continue to evolve, a large segment of the global workforce “will need to acquire new skills to remain relevant in their professions,” Marmalade believes. “This shift necessitates a major focus on reskilling and upskilling initiatives, both at the individual and organizational levels.”
Automated systems and AI tools will take over routine tasks, the recruitment agency’s analysis concluded, altering the nature of jobs and possibly reducing the number of positions in certain areas.
“As more businesses integrate AI and automation into their operations, there will be a growing demand for employees with skills in these areas,” reads Marmalade’s report. “Understanding and working alongside AI systems will become an essential part of many job descriptions.”
Employers will need to rethink hiring strategies, the organization believes, focusing on candidates who are skilled in their domain and also adaptable and comfortable with technology. Team composition may change, adding roles that focus on AI management and collaboration with automated systems.
“Employee training programs will increasingly focus on developing digital competencies, understanding AI and automation, and fostering adaptability in the face of technological changes,” the analysis asserts. “Continuous learning will become a key component of career development.”