Future of work

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Technology is poised to replace a large proportion of jobs performed by humans today – autonomous vehicles in transportation, robotics for transactional tasks and artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial and medical sectors – while creating jobs such as user experience (UX) designers and data scientists.

Disruptive technology and globalization presents uncertainties for the future of work. We see the future of work evolving in two stages.

  • The gig economy: the emergence of ride-sharing, vacation rental and food delivery platforms has spawned a gig economy in which non-employee freelancers provide labor on temporary assignments.
  • The machine economy: disruption to the traditional concept of workforce will be driven by AI and robotics, and the rise of the machine economy.

Disrupting business

Governments face the key challenge of encouraging companies to upskill and reskill their workforce to take on jobs of higher levels of complexity, while robotics and AI replace tasks undertaken by humans today. Regulations have to be enhanced to help companies manage the future workforce, comprising full-time workers, part-time workers and gig workers.

Disrupting government

There will be a fundamental change in the way public education operates: schools need to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist, teach them to operate technologies that have yet to be invented, and inculcate in them critical thinking skills to solve problems of the future. Public education needs to be reimagined to help the students and adults adopt a lifelong adaptive mindset to learn, unlearn and re-learn the deep skills that are required in evolving job roles across the span of their working careers.

Disrupting society

Income inequality could be greatly exacerbated by wholesale labor displacement and the dismantling of key elements of the social safety net. Meanwhile, the machine economy promises to deliver an unprecedented “leisure dividend”, with profound social implications.

EY helps government policy-makers and service providers address the challenges of managing the future of work.

  • 1. Develop deep skills within the workforce

    We work with governments to identify future trends impacting key industries and sectors within the global and local economy, and identify skills and competencies required by the workforce in the future. We take a data-centric approach to help the workforce understand the skills that are highly transferrable between industries, and help embed these skills within the workforce through training program design within institutes of higher learning and adult educational institutions.

  • 2. Workforce analytics and manpower planning

    We use a data-driven approach to workforce strategy and planning, helping governments forecast the profile of the workforce required within each industry, the workforce demand and supply forces, and implement levers to shape the workforce into the desired profile and size required for the future.

  • 3. Human resources (HR) transformation and technology

    We work with governments to improve the management of their public service workforce by reimagining the way they attract, develop and retain a high quality workforce within the public sector, while implementing technology such as robotics process automation (RPA) and HR analytics to drive higher levels of efficacies and efficiencies within the public sector workforce.

  • 4. Workforce, leadership and capability building

    The expectations of the role of leaders are evolving, while the ways of working are transformed due to digitalization and process automation. We work with governments to understand the changing needs of the workforce within each industry, drawing from best practices globally to guide industry leaders on how they can manage the competition for talent in a global economy.