More than half of jobs in Spain could be automated in this decade

Randstad, the human resources company, presented its report “Flexibility at Work – Embracing change”, in which its Randstad research center analyzes the main trends in the workplace and their future prospects, with particular emphasis on impact of the pandemic and the influence of technology.

The Randstad study points out that one of the main challenges facing the economy is the automation of production, with one in seven workers losing their current job globally. In the particular case of our country, 52% of current jobs risk being partially or fully automated in the next decade.

This situation should not lead to an increase in unemployment, according to the Randstad report. In fact, the changing nature of jobs has been a permanent feature of technological advancements in the past, ultimately leading to the emergence of three new types of work: border work, last mile work and cross-border work.

Frontier work refers to jobs in new technological fields; wealth work, to jobs created through increased productivity; and last mile work, to tasks that cannot yet be automated.

The importance of training

A scenario that creates great job opportunities, so much so that the OECD estimates that 65% of children who currently attend kindergarten will end up working in a profession that does not yet exist. Indeed, the World Economic Forum predicts that 133 million new jobs will emerge in 2022, the result of a new division of labor between people, computers and algorithms.

Many of these emerging jobs will pay more and be less repetitive than the ones they replace, but professionals will need a new set of skills to perform them. Beyond the technological skills so necessary in the current situation of digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic, it is estimated that by 2030, some of the skills most in demand will be soft skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and intelligence. emotional.

Teleworking, an opportunity

One of the most important lessons we have learned from the pandemic is adaptability and flexibility, which has telework as its main reference, a trend that will not go away after the crisis.

According to Jacques van den Broek, global CEO of Randstad, “the work will be more flexible in terms of format, scope and content. The sudden change in working from home during part of 2020 has influenced how many people view work-life balance, job satisfaction, and physical location. “

This scenario can also save the life of the rural environment in countries with great imbalances compared to the urban world, as is the case in Spain. In fact, if internet connectivity improves in these places and employment is less and less dependent on physical location, it could even cause a shift from urban to rural areas, or from large cities to larger ones. small.

A future of flexibility

Beyond teleworking, the Randstad Research report highlights how other forms of work, also characterized by their flexibility, tend to consolidate. Indeed, temporary, part-time and on-demand contracts or temporary work are more and more frequent. Work has become more varied and less rigid, due to the combination of new technologies with greater connectivity, as well as broader cultural change.

In most high-income countries, between 5% and 25% of all workers have temporary contracts. A type of recruitment that offers benefits to both employer and worker, and often facilitates working relationships that would not have been possible otherwise. Concretely, they allow companies to quickly adjust the size and composition of their workforce according to needs, especially in a situation as changing as the current one, while for the professional this means enriching his work experience and serving as an effective gateway. towards permanence. employment.

The challenge of digital employment

Randstad Research also highlights the trend of digital employment through disruptive work platforms or a concert economy which, although still in the minority, is in the process of consolidation.

In fact, between May 2016 and the same month of this year, the number of job vacancies from these companies doubled globally and are currently the main source of income for around 2% of adults in the EU.

These platforms increase participation in the labor market, create new employment opportunities and boost the productivity of the economy. These advantages grow as digital platforms enable faster job searches, greater reach and more effective coordination for workers.

However, in these employment models, workers are autonomous, and in many countries there is a debate on how platforms define the status of a worker and the place these relationships occupy in labor regulations. current.

Towards sustainable employment

The Randstad Research report highlights the importance of fostering quality and sustainable jobs for social and economic development. In this sense, labor market mobility is crucial for the long-term success of all countries, especially those facing the twin challenges of an aging population and skills shortages.

On the other hand, and as the age demographics and global distribution of talent change, a fair and sustainable labor market increasingly depends on inclusion. Indeed, improving diversity in terms of age, gender and ethnicity is essential for organizational resilience, economic growth and social stability. In this sense, flexibility at work is a very important aspect to achieve this.

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