MUSCAT, Dec 17 – More than 50 per cent of local jobs will be at stake in the next five years or so because of lack of technological know-how that helps keep pace with the world around, said Dr Ghalib al Hosni, Chief People’s Officer at Oman Telecommunication Co.
“World is revolving around swift technological inventions every minute; future manpower should be capable of handling techno-driven workplaces, incorporating oneself with the changing world, lest he will be left behind,” he said.
Speaking to the Observer at the 2nd Telecom Innovation Oman 2018 Conference, Exhibition and Awards, Oman’s comprehensive event for digital transformation, Al Hosni said our youth need to be well-equipped with tools needed to survive in such a world. The conference was held under the auspices of Said bin Hamdoon bin Saif al Harthy, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communication, on Monday.
“In the modern world, everything has become connected. Smartwatch, Internet, smart shoes, desktop, smartphone, tablet, smart house, smart suit, smart car, smart city, Internet CCTV, etc. In a world of Artificial Intelligence and opportunities galore, nearly 50 per cent of Omani jobs in the private sector can be replaced by technology,” he said.
Nearly 9.2 per cent of Omanis work as security guards and 0.7 per cent at the administrative managerial level. The number of Omanis working in loading/ unloading is 2.6 per cent, while truck drivers account for 3.5 per cent, according to a report from the Ministry of Manpower. According to the report, 5.8 per cent jobs are held by general managers and business managers; 10.8 per cent in science, technology, human resources; 17.7 per cent service jobs; 0.2 per cent in agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting and fishing, which will be replaced by technology. The report says 27.8 per cent of jobs have been affected because of online sales technology, smart digital technology for documentation and office management, and virtual office.
“Education for our children needs to be relooked. Are they prepared to face the future? Are they equipped to stand the challenges of future? They need to be taught of the future technology and current trends in the technology-driven world.” The survey has found nearly 73 per cent think technology can’t replace human minds, while 37 per cent are worried about automation putting jobs at risk. Fifty-six per cent said governments should take the required action to protect jobs from automation. “Technology has always been evolving and so does the opportunities,” says Tariq al Barwani, IT expert and Founder of Knowledge Oman Muscat.
Robots take care of the recruitment chain, taking care of everything from search/ selection of potential employees across the largest recruitment sites, to calls and invitations to suitable applicants, and even a video or face-to-face interview, according to experts.
“Changes caused by technology are visible everywhere and call centre is the finest example of it. Any job that doesn’t require much thinking or feeling, computers will definitely replace the job. People should not be worried about their jobs but continue to learn every day and master the machines than becoming slaves to them, and learn the art of controlling them for work and life,” said Tariq.
“We are in a transformation phase with technology and we need to use more analytics and technical knowhow. Oman’s SMEs should take advantage of their business and for the future,” said Shaikh Abdullah al Rawahy, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer and Board Member of Cloud Acropolis.