The World of Work is changing …
This is a reality and the question is no longer really whether this will happen but how these changes will take place and what the impacts on our economies will be, our jobs, our ways of working and, in a wider sense, on our representations of work.
It is well known that predicting the future of work in face of this digitalisation is impossible, but public stakeholders must be able to anticipate the possibility of unemployment that is not cyclical but structural, with its potential impacts on inequality.
Sharing this view, the United Nations in its "Millennium Development Goals" reaffirms its conviction that “lasting international peace and security are possible only if the economic and social well-being of people everywhere is assured”and that its missions promote “higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development.”
The digitization of our economies is underway...
Since the industrial revolution, and more recently, the globalization of the economy, has generated a profound restructuring of our production tools with significant impacts on certain countries or regions that have seen their industries close or relocate and poor skilled people lose their jobs.
This digitization of the economy has added complexity by affecting existing jobs by automating all or part of the tasks.
At the same time, digitalisation creates new jobs and, consequently, jobs.
On this question, studies agree that it is less the decrease in the number of jobs created in the world that is to be feared than the distribution of these by type of qualifications as well as their geographical positions.
One of the major stakes therefore lies in the possibility of states and PES to succeed in this change in qualifications by guaranteeing citizens the maintenance or even the improvement of their working conditions, of income and this whatever their current situations.
This implies, of course, the introduction of adapted training schemes but also the taking into account of specificities including the care of the public cannot access this type of jobs for various reasons (illiteracy, situations handicap, etc...)
Some states have already introduced deep reforms in their central administrations to make digital competence a basic skill in the same way as writing or calculating, aware that this competence is a prerequisite for any job search process in a large country in a vast majority of careers.
It is in this context that the Public Employment Services have to take action. It is probably a major challenge for many of them to be able to streamline the labour market by:
- Ensuring the transition from one qualification to another,
- Taking into account and finding solutions for publics with difficulties adapting to these new work contexts,
- Proposing alternative solutions,
- Responding to the specific needs of their users (adaptation to new professions, training),
- Responding to the needs of companies that want more flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness,
- Ensuring fair and efficient management of Unemployment Insurance (in countries where this is practiced).
PES also have to take into account new forms of work (new contracts, combined curriculums, pluriactivities, etc.), which often represents a difficulty due, in particular, to the lack of accountability of certain activities and their location when it is beyond national borders.
We invite you to come to Marrakech on April 19th and 20th, 2018 to discuss all of these issues.