Sherrie Donaldson from the South African Brics Business Council Working Group was invited by Coega to present at the Nelson Mandela Bay HR Forum during February 2018.

 With the highly relevant topic of jobs of the future as the key topic the presentation explored the Drivers of change leading to the 4th Industrial Revolution, The Future of Work and Jobs of the future ending with how HR departments need to change to remain relevant in this rapidly changing world.  

HR practitioners are the explorers of our era, they know where they need to get to, satisfying business needs, but have no real knowledge of the route along the way. 

Identifying jobs of the future can help HR teams get to their destination, giving them a map of the route and identifying areas where the maps have changed. Most of the challenges currently being experienced by business and HR are linked to technology but there are other factors which also impact on the future of work and jobs of the future. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Demographics or ageing populations, the impact these on work are:
Retirement ages may have to increase, how do we retire at 65 if we are going to live to 120?
Tax rates may need to increase to cater for a need for increased social benefits 
Business opportunities will be created in new sectors linked to older people, and
Green living, a clean, environmentally friendly economy that promotes health, wealth, and well-being. The green economy also creates new business opportunities

In addition to the items detailed above we are living in an “era of unprecedented change” especially with regards to technology. Some if the technology changes and the impact on work were explored. 
A number of these technologies are driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the intersection of manufacturing and cyber systems.

Whilst there is a lot of talk about the number of jobs that will be lost because of the Fourth Industrial Revolution it is important to remember two things, all industries will change because of the industrial revolution, from healthcare, to agriculture to financial services 
that each industrial revolution has done the same. 

Electrification of the railways meant coal shovellers were out of a job but those that could re-skill/reinvent themselves still had jobs, albeit different ones.
These changes will result in new business models and new products that will create opportunities. Thomas Frey talks about 100,000 new micro industries that could be created by these disruptions. 

As HR we need to be able to identify what these new opportunities are, in the form of emerging, transformed and endangered jobs and ensure we have the talent pipeline to satisfy business requirements for responsiveness both now and in the future.