About 7.5 lakh low-skilled Indian workers could lose their jobs over the next five years because of automation. The impact of automation will mostly hit the global Information Technology (IT) companies and services industries, according to an HfS Research report.
IT giant Oracle on Tuesday slashed hundreds of jobs worldwide, affecting Indians as well. As many as 2,500 employees were affected by the job cuts that took place in Oracle offices at Santa Clara, San Diego, Austin, Texas, Massachusetts and Colorado in the US, besides in India, according to official data.
Research firm McKinsey & Company also said nearly half the workforce in IT services firms will be irrelevant over the next three-four years as the sector will witness a significant shift in technologies.
"Because of changing technology, the most affected will be the professionals aged 35 and above, for it would be very difficult for them to get jobs," said Head Hunters India Founder-Chairman and Managing Director K Lakshmikanth.
Need for new skills and value
The HfS report also suggested that while low-skilled workers will lose job partly due to natural attrition as well, about 3 lakh medium and high-skilled labours will also get employed. This directs the need for the low-skilled IT workers to acquire new skill sets that are market-relevant and roles that are not under the automation threats.
Once they gain new skills and join the high-skilled workers' club, they will have an edge over the service industry, as they will undertake more complicated tasks that require experience, expertise, abstract thinking and ability to manage machine-learning tools.
Adding to the hopes, as more automation takes over, more high-skilled people will be needed to manage automated workflows.
"The total impact of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on services jobs, the impact is not nearly as severe as so many of the hypesters and fear-mongerers are prophesising," wrote the researchers in the report.