The changing nature of work and skills in the digital age

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The changing nature of work and skills in the digital ageEuropean Commission

Social media manager, Airbnb host, influencer, SEO specialist, app developer, Uber driver, driverless car engineer, podcast producer and drone operator; these are just some of the jobs that did not exist 10 years ago. What will happen in the future? What will today's 10-year-olds do when they are 25? What kind of jobs will disappear, what will be created and why? Which new skills will be valuable in the job market? What new forms of work are emerging?

In the European Union (EU), the technological revolution is causing significant changes in the world of work. Some jobs are at risk of being lost to machines. Others are being transformed and new ones are being created. As a result, the skills we need are also changing. At the same time, new forms of employment are on the rise. Occupational structures are shifting, often leading to polarisation in employment and wages which in turn, can increase inequalities.

Some jobs are highly vulnerable to automation.  The jobs that are most exposed to automation appear to be those that require relatively low levels of formal education, those that do not involve relatively complex social interaction and those that involve routine manual tasks. Technology also creates new jobs. New jobs related to the development, maintenance and upgrading of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and big data infrastructures are among those expected to grow. Yet, it is difficult to know in advance how many jobs like these will be created, and in what sectors they will emerge.  Nevertheless, the kinds of jobs that are predicted to grow the most in the EU-28 by 2030 appear to be those that require higher education, intensive use of social and interpretative skills, and at least a basic knowledge of ICT

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