From upskilling the blue-collar workforce to seamlessly placing them overseas: Technology is transforming the blue-collar ecosystem

By Samuel Joy, CEO, Huntr

The global employment landscape is undergoing a profound shift as technology continues to reshape traditional blue-collar roles. While digital transformations were initially tailored for white-collar jobs, they are now making inroads into the blue-collar workforce. The advent of the internet, wireless networks, e-commerce, and social media has drastically altered how we work, a transformation accelerated by the recent pandemic.

Addressing job displacement concerns

The application of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) promises not only heightened productivity, efficiency, safety, and convenience but also a redefinition of blue-collar job responsibilities. Despite the anxiety among workers about potential job displacement due to automation, particularly cited by 37% in a recent PwC global survey, it’s crucial to understand that technology is not poised to replace employment but rather remodel it. The transformative potential of technology becomes evident when considering various innovations like self-driving cars and automated cleaning devices.

Upskilling imperative for blue-collar workers

However, this doesn’t spell the end of blue-collar jobs; instead, it signifies a shift in the skill sets required for these roles. According to the World Economic Forum, automation is anticipated to create millions of new job opportunities, reinforcing the idea that technology is a catalyst for change rather than a threat. As we navigate this paradigm shift, blue-collar workers find themselves at a juncture where upskilling becomes imperative. The upskilling process involves acquiring proficiency in novel technologies such as AI, ML, and data analytics. The evolving nature of blue-collar jobs necessitates a proactive approach, ensuring that workers can adapt to a tech-driven environment. While many companies have acknowledged the need for upskilling programs, there remains a gap that needs to be addressed comprehensively.

Bridging the gap with effective upskilling strategies

Effective upskilling strategies encompass mapping skill gaps to understand industry-specific requirements thoroughly. This data becomes the cornerstone for developing targeted development programs that bridge existing skill gaps. Engaging learning modules presented through multimedia formats enhance comprehension, especially when tailored for diverse global audiences.

Customisation and Peer-to-Peer Learning

Customisation is key in acknowledging the unique skills and learning styles of individual employees. Involving leaders in the formulation of training programs ensures a holistic understanding of the workforce’s strengths and challenges. Peer-to-peer learning, facilitated through buddy shadowing, contributes to an agile learning culture, fostering an environment where no employee is left behind.

Global workforce dynamics: India’s leadership in international migration

In the broader global landscape, the surge in Indian migrants, witnessing a remarkable growth rate of 79 percent over the last two decades, reflects a significant demographic shift. Particularly noteworthy is their migration to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, signifying the evolving dynamics of workforce movement. This migration aligns with the broader narrative of technological advancements reshaping employment, even for the traditionally blue-collar workforce.

Thus, India emerges as a global leader in international migration, boasting a substantial 17.5 million individuals venturing beyond national borders. Within this migratory ambit, Gulf countries play a pivotal role by hosting a considerable portion, with 9.3 million Indian migrants. What makes this statistic even more compelling is India’s standing as the leading country for remittances in 2019. This intricate interplay of migration and remittances unveils a narrative that intertwines with the ongoing technological revolution.

Confluence of migration: Trends and technology

As the workforce, especially the blue-collar segment, navigates the impact of technology on employment, the significance of upskilling programs takes center stage. The influx of Indian migrants, particularly in regions synonymous with technological advancements, highlights the imperative for the blue-collar workforce to be not only equipped for the future job market but also competitive on a global scale. In essence, the confluence of migration trends and technology underscores the need for a workforce that can seamlessly integrate into the evolving technological landscape while contributing to global economic dynamics through remittances.


In denouement, the integration of technology into blue-collar work doesn’t have to evoke fear but rather represents an opportunity for growth. As the corporate sector undergoes this transformative journey, upskilling programs emerge as a crucial component in preparing the blue-collar workforce for the challenges and opportunities of the evolving job landscape.

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