Connect with us

Entrepreneur Today

South Africa Needs New Skills Now – One In Three Jobs Is At Risk Of Automation

Accenture says investment in intelligent technology and human-machine collaboration could boost revenues by 38%, employment by 10% by 2022.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

business-automation

As the World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos, new research from Accenture highlights a key topic on the table: The impact of digital technologies on jobs and economies. It’s an important topic for South Africa as new local research indicates that more than a third of jobs in this country may be automated.

A new Accenture report, Reworking the Revolution: Are you ready to compete as intelligent technology meets human ingenuity to create the future workforce?, indicates that by investing in intelligent technologies and human-machine collaboration, businesses could boost revenues by 38 percent by 2022 and raise employment levels by 10 percent. The report comes at a critical juncture for South Africa – new South Africa-specific research, from Accenture indicates that one in three jobs in South Africa (5.7 million jobs) is currently at risk of total automation.

The Reworking the Revolution research estimates that investing in AI and human-machine collaboration could collectively lift profits by US$4.8 trillion globally. For the average S&P500 company, this equates to US$7.5 billion of revenues and a US$880 million lift to profitability. South Africa has much to gain.

Dr. Roze Phillips, Managing Director for Accenture Consulting in Africa says: “Digital is a growth multiplier. Digital technologies are ushering in a new economic era by overcoming the physical limitations of capital and labour, exposing new sources of value and growth, increasing efficiency and driving competitiveness. However, for countries like South Africa that are less prepared for human-machine collaboration, digital technologies may bring more job losses than gains.”

The 35 percent of jobs at risk of automation that Accenture’s research identifies is high compared with more digitally advanced countries such as Germany (24 percent), and second only to Brazil (46 percent) in this study. With a fragile economy and growing unemployment, especially youth unemployment, further job losses in South Africa could have a crippling effect.

Related: 11 Skills That Will Make You Super Successful

Job losses will impact not just individuals and their families, they impact the economy. “Workers are also customers,” Phillips explains. “Without an income, they have little to no purchasing power to drive demand for utilities and the products and services of government and the private sector. This can bring economic growth to a standstill. This makes creating jobs and ensuring technological competitiveness a vital for South Africa.

“The challenge for businesses, and for South Africa, is to move from merely applying digital technologies to improve efficiencies – realising the full promise of digital technologies and truly boosting economic growth depends on humans and machines working together to develop differentiated customer experiences, and create new products and services for new markets.”

South Africa slow to ‘run with the machine’

farming-automationAccenture’s research shows that at its current rate of learning, South Africa will shift to ‘running-with-the-machine’ activities (those that require more human-like skills) slower than other developed countries. To understand the risk, Accenture developed an econometric model using labour data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) and identified the share of job activities in each category that can be automated.

For South Africa, initial findings show that:

  • 35 percent of all jobs in South Africa are currently at risk of total automation, meaning machines can perform 75 percent of the activities that make up these jobs.

Both blue and white-collar jobs are at risk. The jobs of clerks, cashiers, tellers, construction-, mining- and maintenance workers all fall into this category. Hard-to-automate jobs (those with less than 25 risk of automation) include tasks like influencing people, teaching people, programming, real-time discussions, advising people, negotiating and cooperating with co-workers.

  • By 2025, jobs at risk in South Africa will reduce to 20 percent as workforces evolve with new digital demands across occupations.

The good news? The research indicates that:

  • If South Africa can double the pace at which its workforce acquires skills relevant for human-machine collaboration, it can reduce the number of jobs at risk from 20 percent (3.5 million jobs) in 2025 to just 14 percent (2.5 million).

“South Africa cannot hesitate – it must start now. To succeed, leaders must act swiftly to re-imagine work, pivot the workforce and scale up ‘new skilling’”, says Phillips.

Related: 5 Skills Every Marketer Should Have On Their Resume When Applying To Start-Ups

Accenture’s report, New Skills Now! Creating South Africa’s Future Workforce, identifies the new skills needed to unlock advantages in the digital economy, as well as the actions needed by South African leaders across business, government and industry to shape and prepare the workforce to ‘run with the machine’.

Accenture’s New Skills Now taxonomy includes six new skills families. It encompasses the cognitive abilities, aptitudes and dispositions needed to stay relevant and thrive in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the specialised knowledge or craft skills for a specific market, industry or setting. These are capabilities that individuals can learn at any age and hone over time.

What actions can leaders take today to prepare for tomorrow? They need to:

  • Accelerate re-skilling people – prioritise skills for development, re-skill at the top of the house and keep building.
  • Pivot the workforce to areas that create new forms of value – create a more flexible workforce model and use automation to fuel growth by reinvesting savings in the workforce.
  • Strengthen the talent pipeline from its source – bring personal influence to bear on industry groups and collaborate with academia

However, a clear collaborative multi-stakeholder approach is needed.

  • Government needs to be at the forefront of creating opportunities for its citizens to access digital technologies. It must also set policy to regulate action across areas where the digital revolution is likely to have the most impact.
  • Corporate South Africa must work at using technology to enhance growth beyond achieving efficiencies, developing its people.
  • Organised Labour needs to accept that digital technologies bring the potential for economic growth and global competitiveness. The course of the digital revolution cannot be changed but it can be smartly managed.
  • Institutions of Learning will need to pivot too. To produce graduates that are innovative, internationally-oriented and have the problem-solving capabilities to address issues that are global and multi-disciplinary, we need new systems of learning for both what and how we learn.

Related: Small Business Savvy: Why You Need Negotiation Skills

“Businesses risk missing major growth opportunities unless CEOs take immediate steps to pivot their workforces and equip their people to work with intelligent technologies,” says Phillips. “But this is equally true for South Africa as a country. With one in three jobs at risk of automation, South Africa’s commitment to what Accenture calls Applied Intelligence – the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity to secure growth – will be vital to secure economic access for all its people and drive the economy forward.”

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Entrepreneur Today

FNB Sets Its Sights On Growing Female Entrepreneurs In South Africa

First National Bank looks to grow women entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

female-entrepreneurs-in-south-africa

FNB has set its sights on growing women owned and led businesses in South Africa, a commitment that has seen the bank enter into partnerships to facilitate mentorship for some of the most promising enterprises.

The bank has a good foundation to build on, as 38% of all new business accounts opened with FNB Business are either led or owned by women, highlighting an already established entrepreneurial momentum.

“We are cognisant of the fact that neither government nor corporate South Africa are going to be the sole sources of job creation. We therefore have an obligation to support and grow entrepreneurship. Partnerships such as the one entered into with International Finance Corporation (IFC) enables us to assist in developing women owned business,” says Michelle Geraghty, Head of Women in Business at FNB Business.

Over the last few years, FNB has, through a partnership with the Vumela Fund, assisted businesses such asSAIL, a leading skills and training institute that offers a range of qualifications to the public sector, and Toni Glass who produce a collection of world class tea, to not only scale effectively, but to bolster each of the business’s offering to market.

Related: Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch

“Our approach is to, much like we have done with the likes of Sail and Tony Glass, enable qualifying women owned businesses in their growth curve by offering help that includes transact, lending, investing and insuring solutions. This will include facilitating the registration of the business online via the FNB registrations system which links to CIPC, to Instant accounting and payroll solutions aimed at reducing operating costs for the business. This will also extend to support in the incubation stage of selected businesses through Vumela. We will carry this right through to private equity funding,” explains Geraghty.

Vumela was established as an innovative model that is aimed at filling the gaps in the current SME funding and support landscape. While Vumela is an SME growth fund, it also functions as the bank’s primary Enterprise Development and Supply Development vehicle, able to fulfil both SME funding and growth needs, and corporate ESD requirements, avenues that FNB will be making use of.

FNB also intends on tracking jobs created through these initiatives to ensure a trickledown effect that not only benefits the business owner but also increases the overall number of women participating in business in South Africa.

“The need to grow the number of women in business is one that if done correctly, can address many of the disparities and anguish that women continuously face. Access to fair opportunities to grow their businesses and in turn make a real impact on the South African economy,” concludes Geraghty.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

Great Bunch Of Entrepreneurs Make Top 10 In The Workspace/MiWay Competition

The top 10 in The Workspace/MiWay entrepreneur competition have been selected.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

the-workspace-and-miway-competition

After an intense four-month process, the top 10 contenders in The Workspace/MiWay Entrepreneur competition have been notified that they’re through to the next round. These entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to the judges, who will then whittle down the number of contenders to five, from which the winner will be chosen.

“There has been great excitement over the past four months. As every single new entry came in, we would clap our hands and cheer,” said Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace. It was a tough job judging all the entries to reach the top 20 submissions, she said, before having to find the top 10.

“We’ve had really strong entries submitted by people with good business knowledge,” said Schourie. “You can see the willingness to work hard and the great amount of effort they have put into their initiatives.”

Schourie said judges saw “wonderful ideas and fabulous business minds and quality people with big dreams shine through the entries”.

The top 10 are:

  1. Loyal 1
  2. Dwyka Mining Services
  3. Minatlou Trading 251
  4. Sindis Best for all
  5. Convergence Three
  6. Zinde Zinde
  7. Matla Risk Management
  8. Artsort Trading
  9. Iconic Talent Agency
  10. Nthedikgwadi Transport Services

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Schourie said she wished she could tell President Cyril Ramaphosa, who supports the growth of small business as an economic driver, “the ideas and the passion that these business owners have is inspiring and should be focused on more”.

The prize on offer – worth over R350 000 – will help set-up the winning entrepreneur for a period of 12 months, giving them a boost to help build their business.

Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay, said the theme that ran throughout the entries was that entrepreneurs wanted to make a difference and contribute to positive change in South Africa. “Many of the submissions focused on technical and developmental fields,” he said.

“Entrepreneurs recognise gaps in the market and see the potential for growth. Getting into the top 10 was not at all easy.”

Stoltz said South Africa had a “great bunch of entrepreneurs” and that standing together to give them a platform to launch was an exciting opportunity. “To grow our economy we need to help with skills development and give whatever assistance we can,” he said.

Part of the finalists’ road to the top includes a skills development programme for the top 10 entrants ahead of their important date to pitch their business plans to the judges.

As Schourie pointed out, it is vital to encourage South African citizens to act on their dreams and passions because “it can be a great success; they just need make that leap”.

Dates to watch:

  • 21 June: Top 10 skills development programme
  • 3 July: Top 10 pitches
  • 6 July: Top 5 announcement
  • 20 July: Final five workshops
  • 10 August: Final five pitches
  • 13 September: Winner announced

Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Today

Top 22 Start-ups Chosen For Final Selection Days – Startupbootcamp Africa

After receiving 1,004 applications from all over the world, the SBC team in conjunction with the programme’s corporate sponsors have narrowed the applicants down to 22 top-tier tech start-ups that will be invited to the Final Selection Days on July 11th and 12th at PwC’s headquarters in Cape Town.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

top-22-african-tech-companies

SBC Africa received 1,004 total applications from 77 countries on 5 continents. The start-ups that applied were exceptionally impressive and have gained more traction in the market than the applicants for the 2017 cohort. The talent in Africa is phenomenal and the corporate sponsors and SBC team dedicated 2 weeks to narrow it down to the Top 22 to be invited to Final Selection Days.

“It’s been an intense process due to the exceptionally high calibre of start-ups applying to the programme from across the continent,” states Philip Kiracofe, co-founder and CEO of Startupbootcamp Africa. “From 1,004 applications we have managed to narrow down to 22 of the most creative teams tackling daunting African problems. One of the key differentiators for start-ups that participate in the SBC Accelerator is the opportunity to secure commercial contracts with our sponsors. In order to make it onto our Top 22, each start-up has been chosen by at least 2 sponsors for potential proof of concept projects. The 2018 cohort is already shaping up to be a milestone moment for Africa.”

Related: How to Name (Or In Some Cases, Rename) Your Company

Zachariah George, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Africa added, “The investment community across Africa is taking note of the significant traction and access to market that being an alumni of a global accelerator programme like ours provides. We are excited to further galvanize venture capital funding into tech startups through significant de-risking of business models and customer validation with our corporate partners globally.”

From the 22 teams that have been invited to the SBC Africa Final Selection Days, 10 will be selected to join the 2018 cohort. Over the span of the two Final Selection Days, the startups in attendance will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts and will have the chance to sit down with mentors and sponsors alike. At the end of Day Two, the Top 10 will be announced and will be welcomed to the Cape Town-based Accelerator that kicks off in August. During the 3-month period, they will have the opportunity to scale at an incredible pace and seal pilot and proof of concept deals with the corporate sponsors to the programme.

The SBC Africa Accelerator is anchored and endorsed by heavyweight corporate sponsors RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, Old Mutual and PwC.

“We’ve seen an increase in the quality of start-ups applying to the programme. The awareness of the value of the programme has increased and the success of the first year of the bootcamp speaks for itself. More mature start-ups are also seeing the benefits of participating in Startupbootcamp Africa,” comments Stanley Gabriel, Head of Innovation at Old Mutual.

The Top 22 start-ups invited to the Final Selection Days come from 7 different countries. The numbers are as follows: 8 from Nigeria, 5 from South Africa, 3 from Uganda, 2 from the Ivory Coast, 2 from Kenya, 1 from Ghana and 1 from Ireland.

Related: Entrepreneurship Is All About Overcoming Obstacles

The names of the start-ups invited to Final Selection Days by country:

  • Nigeria: Bankly Technologies, Biyabot, CredPal, FriendsVow, Kudimoney Bank, Medikal HMS, NebulaPay, and ZEEZZ Planet Solutions.
  • South Africa: Brandbookalytics Big Data, ifileme, LÜLA, Prospa, and Akiba Digital
  • Uganda: CoinPesa Ltd, RoundBob Uganda, and Swipe 2 Pay
  • Ivory Coast: Digitech Group, and DISTRICASH
  • Kenya: Kakbima, and MPost
  • Ghana: Inclusive Financial Technologies
  • Ireland: Pago Payments

It has been an incredible 3-month scouting journey for SBC Africa and now that the Top 22 have been announced, the Final Selection Days is the only hurdle left before the Accelerator officially kicks off on 13 August 2018.

There are high expectations for the Top 10 of 2018 and if the quality of the start-ups at this stage is any indication, 2018 is set to be a great success for the African tech and innovation ecosystem.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending