File image: Robots are said to rob 1 in 5 people of their jobs in 2030, according to a recent report “The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030” by global innovation foundation Nesta in conjunction with the Oxford Martin School. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - A new study slams reports that robots will take over our jobs in the future. The report shows that only 1 in 5 workers is in shrinking professions. 

The global innovation foundation Nesta recently released a report with the Oxford Martin School, titled: “The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030”. This report forecasts future job trends and the extent to which professions will be affected by technology in the year 2030. 

“The study finds that while many jobs today will still be in demand by 2030 and beyond, the skills required for success in these roles are changing”, said Managing Director for Pearson South Africa, Ebrahim Matthews. 

Researchers have combined diverse human expertise with active machine learning to produce a subtle outlook on future employment trends. 


Matthews adds that about 70% of workers are in jobs where there is considerable uncertainty about the future. 

However, this precise uncertainty is an opportunity for workers to improve their future prospects, explains Matthews. 

He says that this is an opportunity for workers to improve their prospects by investing in the right areas of skill development. 

Knowledge areas

Particular knowledge areas are associated with occupations that will increase in demand. 

These include:

-English language





Professions that will spike employment 

According to the report, the public sector occupations will experience a rise in employment. 

These include: 



-Wider public sector 

Professions that will shrink employment


-Traditional manufacturing 

The demand for uniquely human skills will increase and the key to success in the workplace of the future will be robust social skills, says the report. 

Skills high in demand 

-Social perceptiveness

-Active learning

-Active listening


-Decision making

Cognitive skills high in demand

-Fluency of ideas


-Oral expression

Physical abilities high in demand


“The future of work is brighter than conventional wisdom suggests - it is not going to be human versus machine, but rather human and machine”, said chief executive officer of Pearson, John Fallon. 

“It is clear that technology is changing the global economy and labour markets, but we still retain the ability to control our destiny. We must reevaluate the skills people will need for a digital future, and update our education systems to ensure teachers have the right tools to help students succeed in the workforce of tomorrow”. 

The importance of jobs ensures our social and economic survival. 

Philippe Schneider, researcher, and co-author of the report said: “Jobs are the cornerstone of our social and economic lives. Today many are concerned that jobs face a period of sustained disruption - not only as a result of automation but also globalisation, demographic and environmental change and political uncertainty. Thinking systematically about these trends cannot give conclusive answers on what is around the corner, but it can provide clues and challenge imaginations as we design policies to improve the adaptability and employability of our workforces”. 

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