Insights by the Caribbean Diaspora for the Caribbean Diaspora
It’s all over the news nowadays: digitization, automation and artificial intelligence are sweeping through our economy and all industry sectors, and reshaping our world of work at breakneck speed. How we work, where we work and the work we do are all changing. There is much we simply do not know about the nature and speed of these changes. But we do know this: yes, jobs are being lost …but many exciting and lucrative new jobs are being created. And a treasure trove of opportunities await those with the right mindset and their eyes wide open.
Let’s get some perspective. Whilst it might sometimes feel as if it is all doom and gloom where the labour market is concerned, the fact is, there is an abundance of job vacancies out there. Between 2012 and 2022 some 12.5 million job vacancies are being created as a result of retirees and others leaving the workforce. And an additional 2 million new jobs, which never existed before, are also being created. Yet only 7 million young people are entering the workforce in the same time period. Do the math. Also with BREXIT on the horizon, these skills shortages may well get worse.
But here is the rub. In a rapidly digitizing economy, the workers of today need very different skills and mindsets to the workers of yesteryear. So all workers – both new entrants to the job market as well as mid-career workers – must rethink and reskill to make the most of the abundant opportunities out there. Whilst no one knows how many jobs will ultimately be replaced by increasingly sophisticated technologies, it stands to reason that workers who use technology effectively will probably replace workers who don’t. Unfortunately, these are realities that few governments, companies and individuals are well prepared for.
That is why we are writing a new series of articles, “Opportunity Knocks” for the Caribbean Diaspora. We want our readers to be among the first to learn of new trends and developments so that they could have “first mover advantage” when new opportunities emerge in our constantly shifting labour market. Moreover, there is a growing awareness out there that diverse companies tend to outperform industry norms by a significant margin, and that diversity is not simply a “nice to have” but a “must have”. That’s why we are convinced that Caribbean people who are well informed, and wiling to learn and reskill as and when necessary, will flourish in the years ahead. Our vision is to play a part in making this a reality.