The Future of Work
A 2019 report by the OECD on Well-being in the Digital Age found that the digital transformation could compound existing socio-economic inequalities, with the benefits in terms of earnings and opportunities accruing to a few, and the risks falling more heavily on people with lower levels of education and skills. The report notes that 14 per cent of all jobs are at high risk of being lost due to automation, with another 32 per cent at risk of significant change over the next 10 to 20 years. This means that nearly half of the labour force will be impacted by changes to their jobs as a result of automation by 2040. The pandemic provided a powerful test of the potential of online learning, and it also revealed its key limitations, including the prerequisite of adequate digital skills, computer equipment and internet connection to undertake training online, the difficulty of delivering traditional work-based learning online, and the struggle of teachers used to classroom instruction. Our training and skills development policy must be adapted to meet this challenge.
in light of the growth and availability of powerful tools like ChatGPT, lifelong learning, up-skilling and re-skilling are becoming more and more important to ensure relevant skills for the labour force as well as making an important contribution to make to people’s wellbeing, to creating a more inclusive society and to supporting a vibrant and sustainable economy. The non-vocational element of lifelong learning and community education also brings major social and health benefits to participants outside the labour force. Access to lifelong learning should be an integral part of the education system in order to address the income and labour market challenges that some members of society face. It also must be accessible and flexible to address the challenges which were identified in the Adult Skills Survey, those of unmet demand and being difficult to access. Various agencies (European Commission, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs) identify generic skills and key competences as a core element of the lifelong learning framework. These include basic skills such as literacy, numeracy, digital competence, language skills, people-related and conceptual skills, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, risk assessment and decision making.