One in five Canadian employees are in occupations at high risk of automation

One in five Canadian employees are in occupations at high risk of automation

OTTAWA, May 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new report released by The Conference Board of Canada indicates that nearly one in five Canadian employees are in occupations at high risk of automation with few or on no options to transition into lower-risk occupations without significant retraining. The report, titled Responding to Automation – How adaptable is Canada’s labour market?, lists the top industries where workers are at most risk of automation and with low occupational mobility (i.e. “the ability of workers to switch career fields in order to find gainful employment or meet labour needs”).
The types of occupations that are most exposed to automation are those that do not require higher levels of formal education; do not involve significant interaction with other people; and involve repetitive tasks.  As such, the five industries in which these occupations are most concentrated are:Accommodation and food servicesManufacturingRetail tradeConstructionHealth care and social assistanceThe research also identified the groups who are disproportionally represented in the top occupations at risk of automation:IndigenousFemaleYouth (aged 15-24)Visible minority“Rapid technological change makes it critical that Canadian leaders understand how the adoption of new technologies impacts Canada’s labour markets, says Harry Sharma, Director, Innovation and Technology at The Conference Board of Canada. “Moreover, the current situation we are facing with COVID-19 may act a catalyst to more automation technology adoption.”“As Future Skills Centre turns its energy toward building a forward-looking strategy to support Canada’s shift into the ‘reset’ and ‘rebuild’ phases of economic recovery, this research will play an integral part in assessing our next wave of on-the-ground projects to support workers and sectors dealing with the impacts of COVID-19,” says FSC Executive Director Pedro Barata.This research is done as part of the Future Skills Centre, a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As part of its commitment to the Future Skills Centre, The Conference Board of Canada researches future skills needs, leads knowledge mobilization and convening activities, and facilitates the exchange of ideas by developing a pan-Canadian stakeholder network.About the Future Skills CentreThe Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead.Funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program, the Future Skills Centre is a partnership between BlueprintRyerson University, and The Conference Board of Canada.About The Conference Board of CanadaThe Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost independent, non-partisan, and evidenced-based applied research organization.  We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, networks and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insights meet impact.Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter @ConfBoardofCdaMedia contact:media@conferenceboard.ca or 1-866-242-0075

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