There is a general concern world over that automation will reduce employability, and India is no exception. It is expected that automation will be gaining further steam in 2018, rendering 70 percent of the Indian workforce irrelevant.
The automation is likely to replace workforce in 65 percent of the global IT offshore work and 40 percent of the business processes. Gartner’s Research Director, DD Mishra said, “Ongoing reductions of headcount in outsourced businesses (due to automation) will eventually result in a scenario where (only) 30 per cent of the workforce will remain relevant.”
If the human works are done by the machines without the need of human intervention, it spells a pall of gloom for the future employment generation.
Moreover, the outsourcing partners demands their clients to adapt automation helping them increase scale and competitiveness. If this drives automation landscape, the curse of technology looks stark on the budding workforce.
CEO of HeadHunters India, Kris Lakshmikanth said, “Overseas clients of the software services industry are asking their Indian offshore vendors to invest on automation tools. In some cases, clients are willing to fund as they seek a 5-10 per cent cost reduction on a yearly basis.”
However, there are some relevant reports that undermine the impact of automation on medium and high skilled workers. By 2022, the significant rise in medium and high skilled jobs is predicted by these reports. HfS Research predicts that jobs involving medium skills, such as IT/BPO industry would rise from 900,000 to 1 million by 2022. The same trend follows the high skilled jobs that should rise from 320,000 in 2016 to 510,000 in 2022.
In India the IT and ITes jobs trends are in sync with global developments. World over, the adoption of artificial intelligence and automation leads to a predicted 31 percent dip in the low skilled jobs, while the medium skilled jobs may rise 13 percent and high skill jobs by 57 percent. Overall, according to HfS Research, the automation and artificial intelligence will the hit the job market with 7.5 percent fall.
Thus, the claim of 70 percent job loss is not substantiated by all researchers. The worrisome picture is particularly with low skilled jobs which are expected to fall. The solution to this is investment in vocation and training so that the lower skilled workers can upgrade themselves with improvement in the skills which will prevent them from being rendered as irrelevant by automation.