Automation, tech to create new work opportunities for women: Report
Technology led-disruptions in the country will bring in remote and flexible work opportunities, creating new employment avenues for women in the future, according to a report.
However, women are also likely to be impacted by the automation of routine tasks, particularly in the IT sector, according to a white paper on the future of jobs and skilling in India by Quest Alliance, in partnership with Tandem Research and supported by Microsoft Philanthropies.
The white paper has been generated by 'patching-up' insights from the limited data and research available on the subject and in consultation with key informants within the industry, policy making, and education. In India, 59 percent of the labor force comprised women having low-skill back office processing jobs delivering back office support, call center work and data transcription services, among others, it added.
It revealed that women also face cultural barriers to using and acquiring new technology and learning tools, and are thus often assigned to tasks involving unskilled labor, many of which have high automation potential. It further said that within services, sub-sectors like hospitality and retail are likely to experience dramatic transformations as a result of automation, digitalization and the growing use of data analytics.
Education, healthcare, tourism, transport, and storage enterprises have significant growth potential, creating 3-3.5 million jobs a year, compared to the 0.5-1 million jobs they currently create, it added. Construction will remain a significant job creator as the government continues to develop national infrastructure, it said.
Travel and tourism are also expected to become a high-growth industry by 2025, it added. The report found that even as government-led skilling initiatives are mostly sector specific, they are not broad-based enough to adequately prepare young aspirants for technology led-disruptions in the future.
"Government-led skilling initiatives are predominantly oriented towards sector-specific technical or vocational training. While these skills are important, they are not broad-based enough to adequately prepare for the technology led-disruptions to the future of work," it added.
Young people entering the digital economy over the next 5 to 10 years will need to equip themselves for a rapidly changing and uncertain future of work that will both hold new opportunities and challenges. However, it added that despite high automation potential across most sectors, the cost of advanced manufacturing technologies compared to the cost of labor is likely to make India a slow adopter.
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