My primary objective is to provide a more convincing base from which such discussions could be better pursued. However, it is clear that the dramatic skills shifts I anticipate in Figure 1 need to be addressed at individual, corporate, educational institution and governmental levels. Individuals need to adopt a continuous learning ethos and think through the skills that are going to be in demand at various points in their work careers. Corporates cannot be in denial about likely skills shortages and about anticipating training requirements. Educational institutions need to update much more quickly than historically both what they teach and how they teach. There is evidence that a lot of subsequent skills disadvantage occurs due to inequities in primary education. This needs to be addressed. Governments need to intervene to shape and structure educational and commercial possibilities, but also to ensure that automation proceeds in socially responsible ways.

Leslie Willcocks
Figure 1

Willcocks, Leslie. “Robo-Apocalypse Cancelled? Reframing the Automation and Future of Work Debate.” Journal of Information Technology 35, no. 4 (December 2020): 286–302.