Automation May Axe 6.4 lakh Low-Skilled Jobs In IT By 2021

Enterprises are largely adopting automation for higher efficiency in the operations, however, it is feared that the technology might take away 6.4 lakh “low-skilled” jobs in the IT sector by 2021. According to US-based research firm, India’s IT services industry will lose 6.4 lakh “low-skilled” jobs to automation in the next five years.

According to HfS Research, by 2021, IT industry in India and overseas will lose 9 percent headcount, or about 1.4 million jobs. The HfS report states “low-skilled” jobs will fall by 30 percent. However, the report said the “medium-skilled” jobs will increase by 8 percent and high-skilled jobs will rise by 56 percent.

Low-skills are defined as those that follow a set process and are repetitive and do not require much in the way of educational qualifications. Medium skills are those that require some amount of human judgement in the process, dealing with more challenging problems.

“The BPO industry is going to be facing the problem of robotic process automation in the next two years. This is a challenge the industry and the country will face,” Asheesh Mehra, CEO of BPO firm Antworks, told Times of India.

“We’ve already precisely pinpointed that 30 percent of routine, low-value positions are being phased out through automation over the next five years, far outweighing the expected new jobs being created in the medium-high skills areas,” said Phil Fersht, CEO of HfS Research.

The HfS report is based on a survey of 1477 industry stakeholders.

However, NASSCOM differs from the survey findings. The apex body of software companies in the country said the research may not have taken into account all the jobs being created by newer technologies.

“Nobody’s really seen what automation and robotics will really lead to. There will be some impact of automation but overall we believe that technology adoption will actually lead to more job creation across sectors,” Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice president at Nasscom, said adding “focus on talent increasingly has to be on skill and not scale. Jobs will exist in other places also, it’s not fair to say these many jobs will get eliminated.”

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