Despite all the talk about robots taking over jobs, a significant percentage of people are positive about the future world of work and believe that they have what it takes, with Indians most confident of their digital skills, says a PwC survey. According to the survey, when people think of the future work scenario, 73 per cent feel positive, with 37 per cent “excited” to see a world of possibilities, up from 29 per cent in the 2014 survey. Moreover, 65 per cent of people believe that technological developments will improve their job prospects as against 88 per cent in India, and globally 8 in 10 agreed that human skills will always be in demand. In the study of more than 10,000 people across the UK, Germany, China, India and the US, 69 per cent of workers strongly agreed that they possess digital skills. Workers in India were the most confident about their digital skills at 83 per cent while for China and the US, the figure stood at 68 per cent. For Germany, it stood at 63 per cent and the UK 61 per cent.
With regard to STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and maths), workers in India (74 per cent), China (59 per cent) and the US (53 per cent) have higher levels of confidence compared to their peers in the UK (33 per cent) and Germany (44 per cent). “Organisations can’t protect jobs which are made redundant by technology, but they do have a responsibility to their people and should nurture agility, adaptability and re- skilling,” said Jon Williams, Joint Global Leader, People and Organisation, PwC, adding that “while the future is unknown, there is much that can be done now to prepare for it”. The report further noted that three-quarters of people surveyed are positive about the future and have confidence in their “soft skills” — these are the skills that businesses will need in future as human work becomes more collaborative with artificial intelligence.
In terms of soft skills also, workers in India were the most confident, particularly about problem solving and creativity and innovation. The survey was conducted in May 2017 among 10,029 members of the general public — with just over 2,000 surveyed in each of China, India, Germany, the UK and the US. The respondents included workers, retired people, the unemployed and students in each country.