Social Agenda Issue 53 - EN

The Employment and Social Developments in Europe review 2018, which came out in July, focuses on the challenge of automation and digitalisation. Not so much to predict the forms they will take but to analyse their concrete impact on the world of work. It seeks to explore the policies that may enable workers and entrepreneurs to harness the mega-trends of technological transformation. It shows that, whatever form technological transformation may take in the future, social investment is the way to turn it into an asset in terms of jobs, social fairness and economic growth. Resilience How is the world of work in the EU changing? What are the benefits and risks emanating from these changes? Are robots and automation creating more jobs than they are destroying? What skills will the future labour market require and how may people be helped to acquire them? How are changes in the world of work affecting the social fabric, including inequality? How may decent working conditions and adequate social protection be ensured in the years to come? In other words, how may the resilience of Europe’s labour force be buttressed so that it can support the competitiveness of the EU economy and the well-being of European society in increasingly globalised markets? In a bid to try and answer those questions, the 2018 review analyses in depth the emerging labour market and working conditions (future jobs, skills and earnings), equal opportunities (skills, education and overcoming disadvantages), inequality of incomes, access to and the sustainability of social protection, and social dialogue. Non-standard work Combined with globalisation, technological change is likely to drive further capital deepening (capital investment per worker). It will also facilitate the rise of non-standard forms of work (self- employment, part-time or full-time temporary contracts or part- time permanent contracts). It is crucial therefore to invest in people through up-skilling and re-skilling, and fight gender and social inequalities. This will mitigate the risks associated with non-standard work (job destruction, higher market income inequality…). Instead, it will help people reap the potential benefits that new forms of work could bring (e.g. achieving a better work-life balance). SPECIAL FEATURE The future of work empowering people © Belga Image Harnessing change: whatever form technological transformation may take, social investment can turn it into an asset in terms of jobs, social fairness and economic growth. 2018 review shows that boosting people’s employability is the key to harnessing technological transformation 1 4 / SOC I A L AG E NDA / NOV E MB E R 2 0 1 8