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New ways of working are emerging, but skills and training don't match up

ManpowerGroup is calling for new thinking in the labour market to capitalise on opportunities created by technological disruption and to address polarisation of the workforce.


The polarisation of the labour market is widening according to ManpowerGroup in its report published today: Human Age 2.0: Future Forces at Work.


The company says a perfect storm of structural and cyclical forces, from shifting demographics to rapid globalisation and technological revolutions, coupled with a highly uncertain business environment, is knocking labour markets out of sync.


It says the result is high unemployment alongside unfilled jobs, rising productivity with stagnant wages, and economic recovery with declining upward mobility for many. The skills of the workforce are out of pace with business needs.


"The time is ripe for disruption and new thinking in the labour market," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO. "The Human Age 2.0 need not be a battle of human versus robot. New jobs are being created, with many individuals able to take on more fulfilling roles, but they will require the training to do so. The Haves, those with in-demand skills that can become more productive using new tools — in industries like IT or engineering — will continue to see wages increase. The Have Nots, with low or outdated skills, will see wages stand still or decline as that kind of work increasingly gets simplified or automated.  Ultimately, the future is bright with opportunities and growth, but continued learning and skills development for human capital is essential."


Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, adds, "In the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into 'low-skill/low-pay' and 'high-skill/high-pay' segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions."


Download The Human Age 2.0: Future Forces at Work

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