Almost half (44%) of Millennial workers (defined as those aged under 34*) say they already need to learn new skills because of the profound changes occurring in the world of work, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Automation** in the workplace is seen as an opportunity to learn new skills and expand existing roles, according to 41% of those polled. However, this leaves many unsure of the impact and opportunities that changes to the workplace will reveal for them and Generation Z, the age group behind them.
Millennials cited the most important skills in the workplace over the next five years as:
– The ability to quickly adapt to changes in the working environment (43%)
– Harnessing the skills and abilities that a robot does not have, such as emotional intelligence (38%)
– An ability to work across the tasks and areas of a business outside of traditional job descriptions (33%)
“Only 27% of Millennials see it as their responsibility to learn the skills that they will need to make the most of new technologies.”
Andrew Harding, Chief Executive, Management Accounting, CIMA, said: “Getting your A-Level results is a significant milestone in many people’s lives. But often this day is seen as an end, when we should be talking about it as the beginning of learning in adulthood. Learning doesn’t end when you enter the workplace; in many ways it is where you really start. We need to change the narrative about learning throughout careers. We shouldn’t under-estimate the importance of individuals taking responsibility for improving their own skills, and ultimately enhancing their career chances.
“For example, our research shows that 41% of Millennials see the coming automation revolution as an opportunity, but only 27% see it as their responsibility to learn the skills that they will need to make the most of new technologies. This exemplifies a disconnect that needs to be erased quickly as the workplace transforms.
“Combining the lessons learnt in formal education with next stage in-work learning is going to be key to establishing long and productive careers. This is also where apprenticeships can play a bigger part in helping workers of all ages. Career-related qualifications can and should be lifelong, and not just one day in August.”
* Research was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,008 UK workers by Opinium between 4th to 8th May 2018. Of the sample, 483 workers were aged between 18-34 and here classified as Millennials.
**Automation is defined as the real-time automatic processing of tasks without the need for human input; everything from payroll and purchase orders to manufacturing and customer service is ripe for automation.