Investing in people and skills to face tech-driven changes

Source: The future of jobs report. Source: WEF.

The coronavirus recession is accelerating automation in the jobs market and creating a "double-disruption" for workers, a new report says.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Jobs Reset Forum 2020 took place last week, to address new challenges and contribute to shape more inclusive, equal and sustainable economies and societies.

Among the biggest challenges - and opportunities - is the adoption of new technologies.

According to the Forum’s report, the rise of machines and automation will displace an estimated 85 million jobs by 2025 but create around 97 million new jobs across 15 industries and 26 economies. A trend that is emphasized by the pandemic.

Guy Ryder, the director-general of the International Labour Organization (ILO) explains the threat on the economy:

“The 21st-century employment model…looks a lot like the 19th century. It took us a century to build the institutions to put some decency into that business model.”

To face the challenges to come and the risk related to internet platform jobs breaking down conditions, companies and governments must define a new social contract, the WEF reportsaid.

The contract would ensure minimum wages, the number of hours worked, social and health protection as fundamental rights, as Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation explains:

“Flexibility doesn’t mean exploitative work. Increasing public investment by one per cent of GDP in advanced and developing economies would create up to 33 million new jobs.”

Investing in people, in their skills and their care, as much as in fields with great potential is key to embrace a sustainable economy, and tech companies have a major role to play to create the jobs that will make the difference.

Jobs reset Forum 2020