COFACE at the OECD Policy Forum on the Future of Work

Robots, automation, and AI will replace 5 million human jobs by 2020. Sure, the world of work is changing as a result of digitisation, the development of the digital economy and broad technological change. These processes, coupled with globalisation, population ageing and changes in work organisation, will shape the world of work and raise challenges to public policy in unknown ways.

In response to the digital economy, the new and affordable capacities brought by automation and big-data, many new markets and jobs will be created as result of further advances in digitisation, but many existing jobs will also be destroyed or will have to be significantly re-tooled in the process.

The rise of the sharing economy may be a consequence of the stagnant incomes that forces workers to complement their full time income with digital side job or part time work just to maintain their current standard of living.

New ways of working will become more widespread, which may create greater flexibility for employers and individuals but at the risk of greater job insecurity. Changes in skill requirements and the organisation of work will create pressure on job quality, work-life balance, inequality and social inclusion. These changes raise profound issues for how to adapt labour market policy and institutions as well as social security systems so as to provide adequate protection for workers while exploiting the potential of the new ways of working to enhance opportunities for individuals and enterprises alike.

The Forum therefore addressed questions such as: What are some plausible scenarios concerning the impact of further advances in digitisation on the world of work? What opportunities and challenges will digitisation pose to labour market and skills policies to ensure workers are well prepared to face the changing world of work?

Preparing young people for the changing employment landscape becomes increasingly important. This is not an easy challenge and it will rely on the engagement of the business and education communities as well as parents and young people.

Many of us feel that we are not prepared for the future of work. No one told us that coding will be so important when we were at school. Our children will work in an industry that do not yet exist and will change jobs multiple times. How best to prepare them for this changing world of work?

The Forum took place at the OECD Conference Centre, in Paris, on January 14. The event was part of a series of OECD initiatives to deepen our understanding of the Future of Work. More information


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