Automation, digital platforms and other innovations are changing the types of jobs being created and the nature of work itself.
This rapid change presents big challenges. It is causing a growing polarisation of labour market opportunities between high and low-skill jobs and disrupting employment patterns. It also has the potential to exacerbate income and opportunity inequality.
To address this, public policy must focus on investing in an individual’s employability rather than maintaining roles that will eventually become redundant. It must prioritise an inclusive and lifelong approach to skills development. At present, Ireland’s lifelong learning rate is less than half the benchmark set by the EU and significantly below what is required by a knowledge-based economy.
The ability of an individual to fulfil their career potential depends on attributes and skills that are developed at an early stage in the education system. Employability and entrepreneurial skills are required for an unpredictable future workplace. Flexibility, resilience and an appetite for learning must be ingrained in what we teach and how we teach it in schools and colleges. Curriculum reform and career guidance is required so that subjects reflect the changing world around us and we need to improve the professional development offered to teachers.
This report highlights the needs for employers, educators and government to work together and identifies practical recommendations to make this happen.
The Ibec Podcast
"Smarter World, Smarter Work" campaign explained
Globalisation, rapid digitalisation, changing lifestyles and new consumer preferences mean jobs and careers are being transformed. And the pace of change is accelerating. As part of this campaign, we engaged with policy and industry experts on the need for public policy to focus on investing in an individual’s employability rather than maintaining roles that will eventually become redundant.