Businesses, government unable to keep up with tech changes: report
Amigo, a white robot the size of a person, uses information gathered by other robots to move towards a table to pick up a carton of milk and deliver it to an imaginary patient in a mock hospital room at the Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday Jan. 15, 2014. (AP / Peter Dejong)
A new report suggests the speed of technological advances has become so rapid that it's outpacing the rate at which large Canadian businesses and government institutions can adapt, with the number of jobs threatened by automation ranging from 35 to 42 per cent.
The co-authored report, by Deloitte and the Human Resources Professionals Association, calls upon policy-makers and business leaders to prepare Canadian workers for the disruption that artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies are having on the economy.
Reforming education to ensure Canadians enter the workforce with the future-proofed skills they need to succeed in a digital world are among the key recommendations in the joint report.
It says this would require re-examining how schools are organized, with greater emphasis placed on interdisciplinary work, mental agility, critical thinking, teamwork, relationship management and the capacity to learn itself.
With workers today needing to upgrade their capabilities constantly, the report also calls upon businesses to take a leadership role in promoting future-proofed capabilities by replacing static learning and development programs with dynamic, continuous learning opportunities.
Among the ways this could be achieved would include making learning available on-demand, 24/7 to all employees on any digital platform: computer, tablet or smartphone. Employers that don't offer these off-site, virtual learning opportunities will find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain top talent, the report says.