April 1, 2014
Study launched at London conference
A major study on the future of work conducted by Z_punkt and the Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation has been launched in London by skills minister Matthew Hancock and the shadow skills minister Liam Byrne.
The Future of Work. Jobs and Skills in 2030
Two versions of the results have been published, a 20-page Key Findings Report, and a 200-page Full Report. I have carried out this work with colleagues at Z_punkt for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Key Findings Report:
The research analyses key drivers and trends for work and skills in the UK – within a global context – to 2030. It assesses potential disruptions and innovations, such as automation or computerisation of professional work, de-globalisation and additive manufacturing. As well as outlining the way employment might develop over the next two decades, the report also projects four possible scenarios for the UK’s economy, and the potential impact on work. These are:
• Forced flexibility (business as usual)
Greater business flexibility and innovation in many UK sectors lead to a modest recovery of the UK’s economy, while a sharp rise in flexible working changes the way many do their daily duties.
• The Great Divide
Robust growth occurs, driven by strong high-tech industries – particularly in life and material science industries, but a two-tier society has arisen, with a divide between the haves and have nots.
• Skills Activism
Innovation in technology drives the automation of professional work, prompting an extensive government-led skills programme to re-train those whose jobs are at risk.
• Innovation Adaptation
In a stagnant economy, productivity is improved through a systematic implementation of ICT solutions.
The study includes an analysis of 2030 work and skills in 7 key sectors of the UK economy: business and professional services; manufacturing; construction; creative and digital; health and social care; education and training; and retail and logistics.
Toby Peyton-Jones, Director of HR for Siemens in the UK and North-West Europe, and a Commissioner at UKCES, said:
“This is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind and gives us an informed opinion of the way we might all live and work in the future. For example, if four-generation workplaces become commonplace, it will be the first time in human history that this has happened. What are the implications of that? Will we see inter-generational stress and culture clashes or will this prove to be a positive tension that is part of a wider diversity trend that will drive innovation?”
The work has also been covered by the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the BBC and other agencies.