Ibec lobbies for reform ahead of future technological development
Emerging technologies, and the speed in which they are implemented, have impacted not only every industry but every workforce. This week, Ibec launched a new campaign in response to labour market shifts. Their innovative ‘Smarter World, Smarter Work’ campaign calls for reforms to prepare Ireland for the major changes our workforce will face in the years to come.
Ibec puts the focus on technology. While new developments will certainly create many quality jobs, some will inevitably go. They estimate that over 60% of children today will work in jobs that currently do not exist. This means that students currently in the education system will have held an average of 10-12 jobs by the time they reach the age of 38.
In response to labour market shifts, the business group calls for a new approach to flexible working. The stress is on better support for those out of work, and labour market rules that encourage work and job creation. Ibec calls attention to the need for a reform of childcare, retirement and pensions policy, as well as an overhaul of the social protection system.
‘Smarter World, Smarter Work’ sets out a positive vision for the future of employment and identifies the priority actions needed to deliver this. The campaign proposes a range of actions across four key areas: Investment in skills and employability, flexibility at all life stages, a dynamic labour market and smoother career transitions.
Focus on Students
Ibec’s campaign makes recommendations on how to equip graduates with the skills to thrive in the changing world of work. A new report, ‘Future ready: improving graduate employability skills’, calls for investment in education. It stresses the need for additional support for academic staff and a uniform approach to work experience/placements. To ensure graduates’ success, a greater involvement of business in curriculum design and delivery is required. Read the full report in PDF form here.
The campaign launch took place earlier in the week in Trinity’s Long Room Hub, and saw Ibec Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee introduce the campaign. ‘Rapid digitalisation, changing lifestyles and demographic shifts mean jobs and careers are being transformed. This brings great opportunities, but also risks. A new era of quality job creation and improved living standards is possible. But we need to embrace technological and workplace change in business and right across society.’