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The future of work in europe

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As companies and governments around the world grapple with accommodating changes in the workplace, the workforce and the nature of work itself, we are pleased to be continuing our Future of Work foresight programme. Building on previous global research undertaken over the past few years, we are now looking in depth at six pivotal issues that have been prioritised as areas of major potential change. These are digital skills, soft skills, reinventing roles, the blurring of work, green jobs and digital productivity. Initially taking a European focus, with the support of Amazon, over the next couple of months a series of expert digital workshops are exploring the core shifts ahead and their implications for organisations and wider policy.

This PDF sets the scene for the dialogue both within the workshops and more widely. If you would like to be involved or have comments on the potential changes ahead, do let us know and we can accommodate. As always all discussions are under the Chatham House Rule and so there is no attribution and, as we progress with each area, we will be sharing a synthesis of all new insights and recommendations over the rest of the year.

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The future of work in europe

  1. 1. 1 The Future of Work in Europe THE FUTURE OF WORK IN EUROPE September 2021
  2. 2. Contents Introduction 4 Executive Summary 5 Research Methodology 6 1. Digital Skills 10 2. Soft Skills 16 3. Re-inventing Roles 20 4. Blurring of Employment 24 5. Green Jobs 28 6. Digital Productivity 32 Next Steps 36 Get Involved 37 Appendix: The Future of Work – 30 Foresights 38 Refrences: 44
  3. 3. Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World Introduction This report, commissioned by Amazon’s Public Policy team in Europe, builds on the outcomes of a significant open foresight study on the Future of Work and Digital Skills, and identifies six key issues that we believe should be progressed to build an equitable, digital, nature-positive, and net-zero future for Europe. To move towards concrete recommendations, progress is required in terms of both action and policy. • Action in terms of scaling up existing programmes that are working, and identifying and creating new programmes to fill gaps. • Policy to ensure that the necessary legal, regulatory, and incentive structures are in place at regional, national, and EU levels for individuals, businesses, and those who support them.
  4. 4. As the third decade of the 21st Century progresses, there have been numerous publications and statements on the future of work and the potential impact that new technologies such as AI and automation will have on the skills, security, and number of people in work, as well as how they will interact with each other and the world around them. We are experiencing fundamental change at all levels. Indeed, the World Economic Forum (WEF) concludes that 40 per cent of the core skills in the average job will change in the next five years. This presents an extraordinary challenge for us all as we seek to adapt. The shock from Covid-19 has amplified the structural challenges that the wider European economy, including the UK, is facing. Lockdowns have already shone a light on the importance of digitalisation for competitiveness and economic resilience. Moreover, they have demonstrated that it is entirely possible to fundamentally and rapidly change the way we work. At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated the widening of inequalities, and exacerbated societal fault lines. Although nations are traditionally slow to embrace structural transformation, it is evident to many that this is needed for society to ensure robust and sustainable growth. To prevent a lose-lose scenario — technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment, and growing inequality — it is critical that government, business, and citizens all take an active role in adapting to change. This may be by creating an enabling environment to support the existing workforce through reskilling and upskilling programmes, or by taking personal ownership of a more proactive approach to lifelong learning. This interim report shares insight into six key areas of debate which were prioritised in recent conversations on the Future of Work and Digital Skills. It is designed as a stimulus for discussions that will culminate in a series of online workshops commencing in September 2021. If you would like to comment on any of the topics we have identified, or indeed to join a workshop, please let us know. The discussions will consider multiple different views and combine the corporate perspective with government and stakeholder viewpoints. From this, we hope to provide a balanced platform for debate and offer an independent, credible, and impartial synthesis of how changes may play out, and also identify some core policy recommendations to assist better progress. Executive Summary
  5. 5. 6 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World Research Methodology In 2019, a wide range of informed experts from academia, government, business, public policy, and NGOs were consulted about what they believe to be the key issues around the future of work and skills. A total of 21 workshops involving over 325 expert stakeholders were conducted by Future Agenda globally. The results were then synthesised and used as a stimulus for a further 50 individual expert interviews.
  6. 6. 7 The Future of Work in Europe In 2019, a wide range of informed experts from academia, government, business, public policy, and NGOs were consulted about what they believe to be the key issues around the future of work and skills. A total of 21 workshops involving over 325 expert stakeholders were conducted by Future Agenda globally. The results were then synthesised and used as a stimulus for a further 50 individual expert interviews. This was followed by three core activities in 2020 and early 2021: 1. Future of Work and Digital Skills Open Foresight • Initial Perspective: An opening point of view was developed in partnership with the University of Bristol School of Management Faculty. This detailed the most pertinent shifts that are likely to affect how, where, and why we work, including discussions on technological progress, climate change, globalisation, and the challenge presented by the need to manage an increasingly ageing population. This was then shared online for public feedback via SlideShare, LinkedIn, and other platforms. • Digital Workshops: The key insights from the initial perspective were also discussed, prioritised, and developed within three digital workshops (one in the UK, one in Brussels, and one in Poland). These brought together more expert stakeholders, including policy makers, academics, NGOs, and corporates. Participants prioritised the areas that they believed would have the greatest impact by 2030 and identified those which would undergo the greatest change. Time was also spent characterising specific areas, mapping the probable changes over the next decade, and highlighting specific recommendations for government, companies, and training organisations that might be made as a result. 2. Parallel Workshop Initiatives In parallel, Future Agenda ran and participated in two separate initiatives that covered common ground. These were: • Conference Board Collaboration: This comprised ten digital workshops, 8 in Europe, 1 in the US, and another in SE Asia. Over 200 senior business leaders collectively addressed the future of work and several related topics, such as the future of talent, skills, learning development and leadership, as well as the impact of the future of data. • Participation in VISION: This collaborative EU Research Project on the Future of Training for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship involved 18 institutions across Europe.1 It included 8 digital workshops that brought together key insights from over 120 expert interviews centred on 4 primary areas of research: the future of work, the future of learning, digital transformation, and social innovation.   3. External Interviews. Following on from these initiatives, a series of 50 further expert interviews with corporate and NGO policy makers and academics were undertaken to gain deeper insight into specific areas of interest. All those interviewed were encouraged to consider what the future of work and digital skills will be in their own area of expertise and responsibility, and to identify any specific issues which, if further developed, could become a useful platform for further exploration in Europe. This project is an Open Foresight initiative, so all conversations were held under the Chatham House Rule, and the output of all discussion is published under Creative Commons.
  7. 7. 8 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World Summary Findings From all the above, thirty primary foresights were identified. These are all detailed in Appendix and summarised in the chart below. The Future of Work Soft Skills Digital Productivity Reinventing Roles Green Jobs Digital Skills Smarter Talent Robots as Colleagues Immersive Experiences Reskilling and Upskilling Personal Learning Networks Agreed Accreditation Learning to be Creative Human Touch Equality and Diversity Pace of Change Vulnerable Roles Working Longer Automation of Interaction 20 Year Degree Projects Not Jobs Attracting Nomads Porous Organisations Valued Part- Time Work Working Near Home Next Gen Expectations The Sustainability Imperative Skilling for Resilience Socially Valuable Jobs Deeper Collaboration Productivity Increase Data as an Asset Speed to Scale Smaller 'Big' Companies Polarised Workers Data and Digital Literacy Blurring of Employment Figure 1: Summary of Trends Impacting the Future of Work
  8. 8. 9 The Future of Work in Europe Six Issues for Europe The analysis has identified the central six issues as the most important areas to address for Europe to create a safer, more productive, diverse, and just work environment that maximises the pace and efficacy of its ambition to drive a twin (digital and green) transition. Making swift progress on each issue will facilitate the delivery of an innovative, digital, nature-positive, and net-zero economy. A focus on skills should form the foundations for this new growth mode. The six issues are: 1. Digital Skills: Upskilling workers, including those most in need, with the necessary skills to operate effectively in a digitally enabled economy. 2. Soft Skills: How best to develop, certify, and measure the soft skills that are increasingly vital to future employability 3. Re-inventing Roles: New technology is influencing the way we work, and workers are having to adapt to its presence. What skills do they need to support this change and what is the best way to provide them? 4. Blurring of Employment: As the workplace becomes increasingly project focused, being ‘in’ or ‘out of’ work is no longer a clear distinction. What adjustments do workers, employers, and governments need to make? What are the implications of the increasingly fluid nature of work? And what will be the policy implications? 5. Green Jobs: Investment in green jobs and technologies will help meet environmental goals, boost skilled employment, and drive economic growth and innovation across the EU. However, although often identified as a priority area, there is no current alignment around what is, or is not, a “green job”. It is therefore impossible to measure progress. Will all jobs be green jobs? 6. Digital Productivity: Digital technologies are transforming our economies and seem to offer a vast potential to enhance productivity. What is required to measure these productivity gains and ensure that they are secured?
  9. 9. 10 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 1. Digital Skills Upskilling workers, including those most in need, with the skills to operate in a digitally enabled economy 82% of the jobs advertised in the UK in 2020 required digital skills2 44% of EU workers lack basic digital skills3
  10. 10. 11 The Future of Work in Europe Increased automation and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence or robotics, are shaping today’s economies and changing the way we work and the way we learn. In a highly competitive marketplace, there is a growing demand for workers capable of capitalising on the opportunities this presents, and a clear need for higher levels of digital capability across all levels of education and training. At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards hybrid learning - not least by making some level of digital skills a prerequisite for employees to work from home. It has also exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities between those who have access to digital technologies and those who do not. Far too many people, especially those in rural communities and those who are vulnerable, do not have significant digital access or capabilities. A strong and coordinated effort is thus needed to provide adequate connectivity, and make appropriate training more affordable, relevant, and accessible, to give everyone the opportunity to learn new skills fit for purpose in a digital age. Across Europe, it is difficult to recruit people with appropriate technical skills, and a growing skills gap is emerging (see Figure 2). Some of the most sought-after positions to be filled are roles in blockchain, cybersecurity, data analytics, and healthcare technology. The lack of proficient candidates in these areas is making it incredibly tough for employers looking to accelerate their business growth and keep up with the competition. But it’s not only high-tech jobs that are affected. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) shows that 4 out of 10 adults and every third worker in Europe lack the basic digital skills.4 This at a time when it is almost impossible to think of any kind of job, or indeed institutional engagement, which will not need some level of digital ability over the next decade. Today, few of us are without a smartphone; even pensioners are now expected to access social services online. But ensuring as many people as possible are technologically capable of using such devices is critical to delivering economic growth and ensuring a fully functioning civil society. What are Digital Skills? For workers, the term “digital skills” covers a wide array of competencies and knowledge, so it is hard be specific about what the future requirements will be. Basic digital skills, such as the ability to use Microsoft Office, Google Search, or other similar software, is now considered an entry- level requirement for most roles, and as workers progress up the career ladder and move from low- to high-skilled jobs, the demand for increased digital interaction is going to increase. Learning and being able to adapt to a rapidly changing work environment has become central to career progression at every level. Meantime, across Europe there is a growing awareness of the widening gap between skills demand and supply. Participation in digital skills training at school, in further education and in apprenticeships has failed to bridge this gap in recent years. There are also stark gender inequalities when it comes to both ICT training and employment in the digital sector. Specific detail around how to address the problem at local, regional, and national level is currently lacking, but research from the Learning and Work Institute in the UK suggests that rather than government intervention, around 70% of young people expect employers to invest in teaching them digital skills ‘on the job’. In contrast, only half of the employers surveyed said they were able to provide that training. Governments may wish to address this by ensuring that vocational training, apprenticeships, and high-quality career counselling is more widely accessible. To help drive this forward, policy makers may want to consider tax incentives and subsidies for companies that hire and train young people.
  11. 11. 12 The Future of Work in Europe Many people are falling through the gap; however, there is little available data to identify who and why. We heard that “40% don’t have basic skills, but we don’t even know who they are. This is a big gap in policy, and it is falling between gaps in existing policies – e.g. digital competence, social, education.” This lack of data, particularly around hard-to-reach, low-skilled communities, means that there is little consensus amongst policymakers about which particular skills will be necessary for next generation workers. Many suggest that a clear overview of the extent of the skills gaps across core industrial sectors is needed, to define how they are being addressed and how one region is performing against others at both national and regional levels. While there are several existing examples, none provide the complete picture. For example, the OECD Skills and Work Dashboard uses 2- to 3-year-old data and is very high level; the European Skills Index has many varied inputs, but fails to integrate these in a coherent, accessible format; the Cedefop Skills Forecast provides projections of the future trends in employment by sector of economic activity and occupational group, and while the LinkedIn Economic Graph does a good job of highlighting the roles that are in demand and the skills, roles, and opportunities of over 700m members, it is only limited to those who are on LinkedIn (most of whom have a degree), so by default excludes others. Some employers are gradually eschewing formal qualifications and turning instead to systems of their own, or increasingly using micro credits to provide timely, relevant training on specific issues. For those already in work, efforts to classify skills and roles more systematically around the tasks required, mean that employees, and sometimes potential recruits, can more accurately tailor their education around the target needs. However, for those who are unemployed, the cost of quality training may be prohibitive. Also, in practical terms, the absence of a common accreditation model across myriad systems can make it difficult to measure and communicate the skills gained. Looking ahead, policymakers, regulators, and educators will need to play a fundamental role in helping those who are vulnerable, through no obvious fault of their own, to repurpose their skills or retrain to acquire new skills. For example, we heard strong support for an increase in government funded just-in-time vocational training that could be integrated into work experience, and therefore be personalised for individual career paths. “There is a huge gap between what employers want and what education is producing. We need to work with teachers, creating vocational training in modern warehouses.” There was also advocacy for greater concerted and collaborative action to help to deliver this. As an alternative approach, some argue that rather than teach people about technologies that are likely to soon become outdated, the focus should be on changing the overall approach to learning. For example, we should switch from exam-based learning, at the start of a career, to building an understanding of the need for, and creating the right environment to enable, lifelong learning from the get-go. “The skills we need are basic skills. Most importantly, we need to teach the skill of forever retraining”. There was universal agreement that, as more of us work for longer, reskilling and upskilling - either on a regular basis or as part of lifelong learning - is expected to become the norm.
  12. 12. 13 The Future of Work in Europe The potential consequences of failing to address the digital skills challenge are significant. Economically, Accenture reckons that G20 countries could miss out on an estimated $11.5 trillion in cumulative GDP growth by 2028. Socially, it will put additional strain on hard-pressed government resources, as those unable to work look to the State for support. In our Brussels workshop, we also heard that the digital skills gap is contributing to growing income inequality: “The changing nature of work is increasingly having an impact, particularly on the polarisation of wage levels. The higher earners are doing very well, while those on lower wages will increasingly fall further behind.” Corporate Action Without significant investment in education, it is difficult to see how the European talent pool can remain competitive in the global marketplace. As the likely post-pandemic government austerity programmes coincide with the soaring cost of education, pushing skills training out of reach for many, necessity means that some large corporates are stepping in to identify and create their own pipeline of future talent in order to ensure business continuity. One told us that “Our belief is that the pools of talent that we have access to in the future will be smaller, so we need to find ways to recruit from what may seem to be a less-engaged, unemployed community. We need to find a way to engage and upskill that group and bring them in to work with us.” But this option is expensive, as “many organisations don’t invest in education – it’s not part of productive time. The public and private sector both expect you to learn on the job.” The cost of training makes it particularly difficult for SMEs to compete: “Not enough attention is given to SME’s who are being left alone to do their own thing. Policy makers are not spending enough time focusing on their needs.” Figure 2: Basic versus advanced digital skills in EU countries5 Note: This figure is based on the Digital Economy and Society Index published by the European Commission. The human capital dimension of the index measures ‘basic’ internet user skills (users with at least basic digital skills and basic software skills) and advanced digital skills and development. Advanced digital skills Basic digital skills FI SE NL DK DE AT LU EE MT IE HR BE ES LT FR SI EL PL CY IT PT RO BG 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 EU CZ HU LV SK
  13. 13. 14 The Future of Work in Europe Closing the gap between education and real skills is widely seen as a priority and is critical to overall economic growth. So is the need to ensure that training is available to everyone – not only the lucky ones who are in employment. Policy makers and educators, supported by business, have a huge role to play here. As the WEF has shared: “Policy- makers, regulators and educators will need to play a fundamental role in helping those who are displaced to repurpose their skills or retrain to acquire new skills, and to invest heavily in the development of new agile learners in future workforces by tackling improvements to education and training systems, as well as updating labour policy to match the realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Impact on Individuals The consequence of all this for individuals varies. For those who have, or can acquire, the necessary skills, it simply makes them more competitive and allows them to pick and choose in a global marketplace. Indeed, the pandemic has demonstrated how easy it has become for skilled individuals to operate as digital nomads - benefitting from the ability to work anywhere and anytime, if there is good Wi-Fi available. Regulation has supported this; one example is the Digital Nomad Visa. Available in Estonia since August 2020, it allows eligible location-independent workers to go to Estonia to live for up to a year.6 The subsequent Cayman Islands version enables those who are eligible to cut through restrictions and access a fast- track 2-year working visa. For others, however, the challenge to gain and retain employment, let alone training, is becoming increasingly difficult, as some companies choose to outsource work to different geographies where workers are prepared to work longer hours and for less remuneration. Many we spoke to were concerned about the long-term consequence of this. “We have created the notion of a disposable workforce when we use someone until their skills are not needed any more - and then we bring in someone newer, fresher, younger.” EU Targets and Policy Initiatives The EU’s Digital Decade has set targets for >80% of adults to have basic digital skills by 2030 and 20m ICT specialists (with gender convergence).7 Major policy initiatives include: • European Skills Agenda8 • Digital Education Action Plan9 • Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition10 Example Business Initiatives Amazon is helping to make online learning accessible through initiatives such as Future Engineer, a comprehensive childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate, and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science.11 Microsoft’s YouthSpark is a long-term company-wide initiative to erase the gap between young workers who already benefit from skills training, and their peers who cannot afford nor access it.12   Key Questions • What actions are required to close the growing digital skills gap? • What policy initiatives would enable positive change? • What new forms of collaboration would benefit those who are currently unable to access digital skills training?
  14. 14. 15 The Future of Work in Europe
  15. 15. 16 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 2. Soft Skills How best to develop, certify, and measure the soft skills that are increasingly vital to future employability Soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.13 The Top 3 missing soft skills (EU and US):14 • Problem solving, critical thinking, innovation and creativity; • Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity; • Communication.
  16. 16. 17 The Future of Work in Europe Although automation will have profound impact on the way we work in the future, few believe that machines will replace people any time soon. Technological progress does undoubtedly reconfigure jobs, but it also creates them. These new jobs require new skills which are currently not widely or effectively taught. Deep reform of the education system is therefore essential not only to facilitate the development of digital knowledge and technical skills, but also the increasingly vital “soft” skills. Often referred to as the “four Cs of twenty- first century learning” (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication), these are areas where humans still retain a considerable advantage over artificially intelligent machines. Working successfully in digitally intensive jobs clearly requires more than just technical ability in coding or programming. Non-cognitive soft skills that allow people to leverage their uniquely human capabilities are increasingly recognised as pivotal. It may seem obvious, but the extent to which someone is open, conscientious, empathetic, and agreeable helps to determine their success in life just as much as their academic or technical ability. What is less obvious perhaps is that these skills can be learned. Many point to the growing need to give this greater attention. “There will always be some tasks that cannot be automated. We need skills that can bridge the gap between man and machine, and can explain things to others. So, we will still need more people with soft skills for work, despite the technical profile.” Recent research, shared in the Harvard Business Review,15 cites key learning and skills outcomes gained from a liberal arts education include those rated as most important to employer - namely, oral communication, critical thinking, ethical judgment, working effectively in teams, written communication, and the real-world application of skills and knowledge. However, this comes at a time when Governments in both Europe16 and across the world are cutting funding to liberal arts education. Soft skills-intensive occupations will account for around two thirds of all jobs by 2030 (up from about 50% in 2000).17 Multiple studies show that they contribute to higher revenue, productivity, and profitability, and that investment in them will deliver a significant return on investment (e.g. Deloitte, Adhvaryu, Haskell). Yet many school leavers, as well as many in the existing workforce, do not currently have them. We heard senior executives comment, “I know for a fact that the current education system is not providing people with the soft skills that we require in terms of teamwork, managing ambiguity, things like that. It’s already clear that some of the people we are hiring are not able to function in the type of team environment that we really require. Are they going to be able to use the right level of judgement?” Again, many felt that a review of the current education system is long overdue. “Is the schools’ agenda fit for purpose? The curriculum has not been updated to reflect the change in work and the need for problem-solving skills, and creative learning.” and “We need far better alignment of formal education with employer expectations. Sometimes it’s just shocking. I see people coming out with top university degrees, with PhDs, applying for unpaid internships, and I couldn’t have them work for me because their soft skills are so poor.” However, despite consensus around the problem, we heard little agreement on how best to deliver appropriate training in a coherent manner. A conundrum for policy makers is how to design and provide incentives to help overcome this challenge.
  17. 17. 18 The Future of Work in Europe One particular problem, exacerbated during the pandemic, is that active learning (which the WEF defines as a priority skill) is best cultivated, assessed, and developed at work. But if the primary challenge for workers is to first get a job, how do they build and demonstrate this ability? And how can they hone their skill when they are working remotely? Beyond major corporates, we heard little appetite for significant private investment in training. “If you look at a society level, how do you create those entry level jobs for people, where people can just start and learn? Most people can learn. But the problem is, it’s just not worthwhile for us to take them on. So you just end up with an upside- down pyramid where there just aren’t enough entry level jobs.” Policy makers and educationalists have a role to play here. Research shows that the handicaps built early in life are difficult, if not impossible, to remedy later. Therefore, effective early child development programmes can have a very significant impact. Ensuring that children begin to develop the technical, cognitive, and behavioural skills conducive to high productivity and flexibility in the work environment from the moment they start school would deliver huge benefits. The measurement of these skills is also key. So some type of formal qualification would be helpful, particularly as more people join the gig economy and need to demonstrate their credentials to prospective job providers on a regular basis. Qualifications only go so far - applying knowledge is key. As more organisations hedge their bets about the future and hire more contractors, tomorrow’s workers will need to be able to adapt quickly to a company’s culture, be flexible, resilient, and keeping an eye on future projects, be confident about their ability for self-promotion. Few we spoke to welcome this prospect, “Some people say we should build empathy and understanding. How can you build this social fibre if, on the business side, you are building project by project?” A challenge for many organisations is, therefore, how to establish the trust and loyalty in a fragmented environment of their own creation. Finally, as many expect significant change ahead, think, for example, of the impact that the convergence of climate change, demographic change, and automation will have, perhaps the greatest skill of all, and one which has been long neglected by post-war generations, will be that of resilience. In a rapidly changing world, the ability to remain relevant and able to contribute to the workplace over a lifetime will be no mean feat. EU Targets and Policy Initiatives We are not aware of any specific EU targets or initiatives for soft skills as part of the current 5-year European Skills Agenda.18 There are, however, 2 notable initiatives contributing to soft skills knowledge and development in Europe which are supported by EU funding. The SoftSkills4.EU project has four aims:19 1. To identify the key soft skills needed in Europe; 2. To develop new e-validation and e-learning tools, using the concept of “open badges“; 3. To develop a standardised system for self-evaluation and validation; 4. To create a strategy for recognition, aimed towards employers, counsellors, and other relevant stakeholders. SkillsMatch EU has identified 36 key Soft Skills that are needed for successful participation in society and required to get a good job.20 These Soft Skills can be classified in four different categories: self-image and vision of the world; context and performance related; social interaction and methodological, intuitive and lateral thinking.
  18. 18. 19 The Future of Work in Europe Example Business Initiative As part of its AWS Re/Start programme, Amazon offers a free, full time, 12-weeks sills development programme that prepares individuals with little or no technology experience to pursue entry-level cloud computing positions.21 As well as hard skills (e.g. AWS Certification) the programme also provides soft skill training to ensure individuals are work-ready. The program focuses on unemployed or underemployed individuals, including military veterans and their families and young people. Key Questions • How best to develop, certify, and measure soft skills? • What are the critical soft skills required for future work in Europe? • What and where are the key soft-skill gaps? • How will we measure soft skills attainment? • How can individuals best learn/become equipped with soft skills? • How will we accredit soft skills? • Where is further research required?
  19. 19. 20 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 3. Re-inventing Roles New technology is influencing the way we work, and workers are having to adapt to its presence. What skills do they need to support this change and what is the best way to provide them? By 2025, 85 million jobs will be displaced, while 97 million new jobs will be created across 26 countries22 375m jobs to be displaced by automation by 203023
  20. 20. 21 The Future of Work in Europe The scaling of new technologies is radically reinventing the tasks involved in many jobs. Artificial intelligence is transforming sectors such as digital information and communications, financial services, healthcare, and the transportation industries. Big data, the Internet of Things, and robotics are seeing strong adoption in mining and logistics, while government and the public sector has a distinctive focus on encryption. As these and other technologies are applied across the workplace, some are grappling with the implications for the corresponding changes to their roles. Take farming for instance: just a few years ago, most farmers tended their fields, and drove tractors and combines to sow and harvest their crops. Today, it is perfectly possible that the same famers will use drones and satellite imagery to identify optimal locations, and then instruct automated vehicles to remotely manage their land. They are still farming, but the roles involved are almost unrecognisable. Some we spoke to believe that technology will support humans to do tasks more safely, effectively, and efficiently, and in so doing will enable the design of jobs to evolve. They argue that the idea that technology is going reduce the number of jobs available is wrong. Quite the reverse; they suggest that although many roles will change, they will not disappear. Just as in the first industrial revolution, when, over a period, blacksmiths became mechanics, they expect the digitally led fourth industrial revolution to take away some of the dreary and repetitive tasks and offer improvement and reinvention. A doctor, for example, might find that with technology to help with and accelerate diagnosis, he or she is able to give patients more personal support. Similarly, as access to content is decoupled from the analysis of information, the role of a teacher may become that of a coach or mentor, providing advice on how and where best to learn and apply knowledge, rather than simply how to accumulate it. The skills and training of being a teacher will need to evolve just as much as that of a pharmacist, doctor, or indeed, a farmer, but the role will remain. Most believe that humans are expected to retain their comparative advantage over automation. Mainly because we have a natural instinct that tells us that it is better to interact with others in order to build trust and understanding. Managing, advising, decision-making, reasoning, communicating, and interacting will always play a significant role in any business interaction. However, by understanding why, how, and where automation can be applied most effectively, it is possible for organisations to simultaneously eliminate tasks that stifle creativity, increase efficiency across the business, and improve employee wellbeing. Here, younger workers often have an advantage, as they are more likely to be willing and able to adapt than their older, more established colleagues. Growing up with apps, on-demand content, and social networking in their pockets, they are accustomed to using technology for every working process. Unlike older workers, who may find a change in role uncomfortable and unwelcome. While certain jobs are disappearing, others are emerging or growing. The OECD suggests that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in areas that currently don’t exist. Looking ahead, it may be the case that roles will change for other reasons, not because of increasing technological innovation, but rather due to the make-up of the workforce. Workplaces of the future, for instance, will need to adapt to an increasingly ageing population. In Europe, many people will work 10 to 20 years longer than previous generations. As such, the design of jobs for the older generation will change. For some, there may be a final career transition into organisations that have more age- friendly roles, but for others, keen to remain with an existing employer, it may well be that their tasks will evolve to accommodate their physical capability. Some will need to retrain. Decisions need to be made around whether this should be funded by the state, employers, or the individuals
  21. 21. 22 The Future of Work in Europe themselves. While much of this may come from a range of learning platforms, some may be more formally structured. At a workshop in Singapore, one proposal was for a 20-year Master’s degree that allows individuals to dip in and out of formal education as and when needed to update and realign their skills with the prevailing job market. Whatever the view of potential new roles, many we spoke to believe the public sector needs to provide stronger support for reskilling and upskilling for at- risk or displaced workers. Currently, only 21% of businesses report being able to make use of public funds to support their employees through reskilling and upskilling. The public sector will need to create incentives for investments in the markets and jobs of tomorrow; provide stronger safety nets for displaced workers during job transitions; and to decisively tackle long-delayed improvements in education and training systems. EU Targets and Policy Initiatives There are no specific targets or Actions directly focused on this topic as part of the European Skills Agenda24 nor as part of Europe’s Digital Compass for the Digital Decade.25 Example Business Initiative The changing nature of paralegals in Law firms as AI systems is transforming the way research is carried out with support from organisations such as Lexis Nexis.26 Key Questions • How can we make the most of robots as colleagues? • Will AI be more about artificial or augmented intelligence in the next decade? • How will we value human roles that are enhanced with automation? • Should automation be taxed?
  22. 22. 23 The Future of Work in Europe
  23. 23. 24 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 4. Blurring of Employment As the workplace becomes increasingly project focused, being ‘in’ or ‘out of’ work is no longer a clear distinction. What adjustments do workers, employers, and governments need to make? A typical Hollywood movie is made by 500 people of whom only around 10 work for the studio - everyone else is freelance27 50% of US workers are already freelance - by 2030, some estimate that freelancers will represent about 80% of the global workforce28
  24. 24. 25 The Future of Work in Europe There has been much debate about the pros and cons of what has come to be known as the gig economy. Some argue that workers are increasingly choosing to take jobs that offer few or no rights, in return for increased flexibility. Economists have long known that this sort of job flexibility is a key determinant of health and wellbeing. Yet until recently, it has been far more common in higher- paid occupations than lower-paid ones. At the same time, increasing competition for talent is forcing organisations to be open and permeable. For them, building, maintaining, and retaining corporate know- how remains a pivotal challenge, but so is attracting and curating flexible, independent workers. Given this, a priority task for policy makers is to help redefine workers’ rights for an era of flexibility and service work. In 2015, we wrote about the scramble for talent and the need for organisations to adapt to a world in which digital nomads can pick and choose the projects they are prepared to work on, often on their terms and irrespective of geography. Six years on, the appetite for fluidity remains. Shifts such as technological progress, globalisation, an increasingly ageing population, and more evident climate change have been influencing corporate decision-making, including how and where people are employed. This has created fundamental challenges for business big and small. Not only can the top talent cherry pick when and how they work, but in a highly volatile and increasingly complex landscape, many organisations must also learn how to manage a seamless flow of knowledge and ideas to adapt to changing customer demands, ensure capabilities are maintained, and keep the doors to innovation open. All this at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has tested the abilities of even the most resilient and agile companies. As the long-term consequences become apparent, shoring up the talent supply chain will be a crucial part of mitigating risk. Looking ahead, it seems that only the wealthiest and most attractive organisations (in the main technology companies) will be able to retain the loyalty of their employees. For everyone else, building and preserving corporate know-how within increasingly porous organisational boundaries will become a challenge. A parallel but related shift is how, as a society, we value, reward, and see part-time work. Traditionally, in some regions, part-time work has neither had the same status as a full-time role, nor has it received the same benefits in terms of taxation treatment, holiday allowance, or healthcare. This is changing, and many countries are fixing the technical gaps so that a portfolio career for some, or having multiple part-time jobs for others, are both equivalent, and neither put the individual at a disadvantage. Moreover, from a societal point of view, the growth in formalised job-sharing within organisations, large and small, is set to continue to change perceptions. Perhaps equally significant here will also be the gradual adoption, in some countries, of a four-day working week. New Zealand, Japan, and more recently, Spain have all now undertaken pilots supported by the government. Moreover, there is a shift from bilateral to multinational agreements to support increased portability of social security benefits which will aid a more fluid workforce. With a dual ambition to improve quality of life and increase productivity, this greater flexibility is also contributing to the ongoing move away from the 9 to 5, five days a week view of some roles, towards a far more fluid approach to work. Lastly, working at home during the pandemic has, for some, accelerated this shift event further, and so the distinctions between full- time, part-time, formal and informal working have been further eroded. By 2030, many expect that, in some countries at least, the whole notion of set hours and days for work within the week is history.
  25. 25. 26 The Future of Work in Europe EU Targets and Policy Initiatives While there are no specific targets, this topic intersects with policy related to a number of principles contained in the EU’s Pillar of Social Rights (for example: Fair working conditions – secure and adaptable employment, work life balance; Social Protection and Inclusion).29 Example Business Initiative Upwork’s platform serves everyone from one-person start-ups to 30% of the Fortune 100.30 Its mission is “to create economic opportunities so people have better lives has taken us so much further. As a result, we’ve become the world’s work marketplace where everyday businesses of all sizes and independent talent from around the globe meet here to accomplish incredible things.” In 2020, the Upwork talent community earned over $2.3 billion on Upwork across more than 10,000 skills. Key Questions • What are the implications of the increasingly fluid nature of work (e.g. when, where, and how we work and on what terms)? • How best to balance the opportunity offered by a diversity of employment contracts, on the one hand, with protection for workers and businesses, on the other.
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  27. 27. 28 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 5. Green Jobs Investment in green jobs and technologies will help meet environmental goals, boost skilled employment, and drive economic growth and innovation across the EU. Taking ambitious action to tackle climate change can deliver more and better jobs, with a potential for 18 million net jobs by 2030.31 By reallocating just 1 year of government subsidies that are harmful to nature, 39 million nature-positive jobs could be created. A circular economy could add $4.5tn to global GDP by 2030.32
  28. 28. 29 The Future of Work in Europe The impacts of global climate change and the biodiversity loss crises are already being felt in Europe. Recent local illustrations range from the disastrous flooding in Germany and Belgium which killed over 200 people, to devastating wildfires in Spain, Greece, and Sardinia. The European Green Deal is Europe’s centrepiece response and contribution to these interlinked crises, pledging to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, with a target to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This is no act of altruism. Europe views the crises as both an existential threat and an opportunity for economic and social recovery. This will, the EU argues, create new opportunities for innovation, investment and jobs, address energy poverty and dependency, improve the continents health and wellbeing, and strengthen the competitiveness of European companies. The Green Deal is also viewed as a route out of the economic challenges made more acute by the COVID-19 pandemic. Critical to achieving all of these goals will be building the necessary skills and green jobs to deliver them. The investment is significant: One third of the €1.8 trillion investments from the 2021 NextGenerationEU Recovery Plan, and the EU’s seven-year budget, will finance the European Green Deal. The “green job” concept derives from the Green Jobs Initiative which was started jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme, the ILO, and the International Trade Union Confederation in 2007. Then, green jobs were defined as “work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality”. Today, the definition has become less defined; the UNEP now sees green jobs as “positions in agriculture, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities aimed at substantially preserving or restoring environmental quality” while the ILO has for some time viewed them as “decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.” The corporate sector has also tried to come up with a definition. They “talk about jobs aimed directly at protecting the environment, or which seek to minimise impact on the health of the planet.” Most recently, LinkedIn has announced a significant initiative to contribute to this debate, in conjunction with the ILO and the UN’s Partnership for Activity on the Green Economy. Despite this lack of clarity around the definition, there is consensus that working towards a more sustainable society necessitates a fundamental change of business practices. As we heard, “The Green Deal is largely focused on climate change, but we need to treat the environment as a system. How does the natural system influence society and business … the interconnected lens is often missed?”. This may also include a redefinition of what is meant by corporate involvement. “There is a need to acknowledge the role of the workers in this – you need to place workers and their agency at the centre of this. There needs to be a strong focus on dialogue between business and other actors. Workers are a key component of this,” and “Organisations need to respond to this, but it may be very challenging and costly, particularly for SMEs.” The implication here is that any policy response will need to be holistic, covering all sectors of the economy, and arguably all workers. These changes are welcomed by society as a whole, with a recent UNDP and University of Oxford study finding that citizens in the world’s leading economies, including the UK, Germany, and Italy, were highly supportive of increased investment in sustainable businesses and jobs.
  29. 29. 30 The Future of Work in Europe 50% Desire for these jobs, and those employers, is particularly high among the next generation of workers. Their attitudes towards environmental issues and desire for more meaningful employment, serving a greater purpose and contributing to society, represent a generational shift which many leading employers must respond to in their ongoing battle for talent. As we heard many times, those organisations that do not adopt high standards will fail to recruit the best next generation workers. Growth in green jobs will also require greater investment in the skills needed for new technologies and the supporting business processes, such as the adoption of the principles of the circular economy. How these green jobs, and the necessary skills to deliver them, will be supported is as yet unclear. As one FT author put it last year, “the rhetoric of green jobs must become detailed policy, and the alluring future [the Prime Minister] paints must be as inclusive as possible if he is to achieve his vision.”34 Progress is, however, being made. For example, in the UK, a Green Skills Taskforce will report in Summer 2021 on how to deliver 3m green jobs in the UK by 2030. Figure 3: People in G20 support for a just and sustainable recovery.33 An analysis conducted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Oxford earlier this year found that people in G20 countries support increased investment in sustainable businesses and jobs. There is majority support in nearly all G20 countries surveyed for more just, green and sustainabled investment, led by the United Kinddom (73%), and followed by Germany, Australia, and Canada (68%), South Africa (65%), Italy (64%), Japan (59%), France, (56%), and Agentina, Brazil and Indonesia (all 51%). 73% 68% 68% 68% 65% 64% 59% 57% 56% 51% 51% 51% 48% 46% 43% United Kingdom Germany Australia Canada South Africa Italy Japan United States of America France Brasil Indonesia Argentina Russia Turkey India 0% 100%
  30. 30. 31 The Future of Work in Europe Key Questions • How can we equip workers to assist equitable, nature-positive, net-zero transitions? • What is a useful definition for Green Jobs in Europe? • How will we measure the growth of Green Jobs in Europe? • How will we train and upskill workers for Green Jobs? • What lessons can be taken from leaders inside and outside of Europe on this topic? • What are the key recommendations for policy makers in Europe? EU Targets and Policy Initiatives The EU has a series of proposals to support the Delivery of the European Green Deal.35 While all support the growth of green jobs, there is nothing specific on green skills. Example Business Initiative In 2020, Alphabet issued $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds to fund ongoing and new projects that are environmentally or socially responsible.36 The Germany energy company E.On is working with Local Authorities to deliver the UK Government’s £2bn Green Homes Grant. This helps homeowners pay for energy saving improvements for their homes by installing measures such as wall insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps. This is creating new jobs, improving the warmth of homes, cutting energy bills and contributing to the helping the UK become zero-carbon by 2050.
  31. 31. 32 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World 6. Digital Productivity Digital technologies are transforming our economies and seem to offer a vast potential to enhance productivity. What is required to measure these productivity gains and ensure that they are secured? AI has the potential to boost firm-level labour productivity by 3 to 4% and significantly impact economic growth in Europe.37 Removing barriers to digital investment in UK SMEs could unlock £145bn in annual economic output because of improved productivity and supporting 2.7m jobs.38
  32. 32. 33 The Future of Work in Europe Digital adoption across Europe continues to rise, with the EU’s digital economy and society index rising as a whole from 40 in 2015 to above 60 in 2020. But as the European Central Bank (ECB) comments, “This masks some diversity between countries … While connectivity (notably broadband) has reached comparable levels in most countries, differences in other dimensions persist, such as the levels of human capital and the integration of digital technologies into the business and public sectors. These differences in digital adoption across countries imply that the impacts of digitalisation may also differ across the euro area and EU countries.”39 However, overall, the EU’s digital economy, remains at less than 7% of GDP, around 2% less than that of the US. Figure 3: Digital Economy and Society Index - Digital adoption in the euro area and EU economies. Figure 5: The Digital Economy (2015-2020) as Percentage of GDP 2015 2015 2016 2016 2017 2017 2018 2018 2019 2019 2020 2020 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 -2 2 4 6 8 10 BG EA 19 EU 28 US GR PT LT ES IT PL BE LV DK NL HR FR AT SK CY UK SI DE BG RO EE SE HU FIN CZ EL RO IT CY PL SK HU HR PT LV CZ SI FR EU LT AT DE ES LU BE UK EE IE MT NL DK SE FI
  33. 33. 34 The Future of Work in Europe Of course, this measure does not remotely give the full picture. Defining the digital economy is becoming ever trickier, as what is and what is not ‘digital’ blurs. The truth is that almost all parts of the economy are in some way digital, and yet our understanding of this, and the impacts on productivity, are to date limited. This is important, as high levels of productivity growth are a key element in maintaining high standards of living in the long run in Europe. However, the EU has been experiencing a significant slowdown in labour and total productivity growth. As the ECB puts it, “While it may seem paradoxical that an era of rapid technological progress is not accompanied by great productivity improvements, the slowdown is in fact most pronounced in the sectors that rely most on information and communication technology (ICT). This finding, among others, lends credence to the view that we are still in the installation phase of ICT.” As a result, it is of no surprise that there is widespread speculation about the real impact of the digital sector on productivity. Broader concerns include its size and its share of the economy, competition, and its wider socio-economic influence. Yet no one has quantified the contribution of the digital transformation in Europe to both economic growth and overall national and regional productivity. This remains a major knowledge gap, not only for those organisations within the core digital producing sector, but also the wider range of firms that are using digital technologies to become more productive directly, as well as those creating digitally enabled intangible assets that strengthen absorption. Academic research has, however, already identified some factors that affect the successful implementation of ICT; for example, having more flexible and decentralised organisational structures, good management practices, and stronger ability to innovate.40 The same is true for those firms adopting new digital tools and technology within their activities. Although digitally enabled organisations have evidently grown in recent years and offer great potential for driving faster productivity growth, the uneven adoption and diffusion of the core technologies and processes, particularly in SMEs, also pose productivity risks. Moreover, considering one area of absorption, while workforce skills constitute a fundamental productive asset for any organisation, we know little about how skill use and skill strategy interact with technologies within the workplace to shape productivity, nor about which workers gain and lose in the process. Many of the impacts of digital transitions on production, jobs, and work, are yet to be qualified.
  34. 34. 35 The Future of Work in Europe Key Questions • What is the impact of Europe’s twin transition on jobs and economic productivity? • What is already known about the direct and indirect impact of digital transformation on productivity? • Where are there significant gaps in understanding? • What lessons can be taken from leaders inside and outside of Europe on this topic? • What are the key recommendations for policy makers in Europe to improve digital productivity? EU Targets and Policy Initiatives There are several key EU strategy and policy areas that will influence future digital productivity. These include the EU’s Digital Strategy (Shaping Europe’s Digital Future) and the Digitising European Industry policy initiative.41 The EU’s Digital Decade has set the following targets for the digital transformation of businesses.42 • Tech uptake: 75% of EU companies using Cloud/ AI/Big Data; • Innovators: grow scale ups & finance to double EU unicorns; • Late adopters: more than 90% of SMEs reach at least a basic level of digital intensity The EU has identified 5 strands to focus on to unlock the full potential of digitisation for businesses: 1. Establishing a European platform of national initiatives on digitising industry 2. Creating Digital Innovation Hubs 3. Strengthening leadership through partnerships and industrial platforms 4. Introducing a regulatory framework for the digital age 5. Preparing Europeans for the digital future
  35. 35. 36 The Future of Work in Europe Future of Patient Data Insights from Multiple Expert Discussions Around the World Next Steps Each of these six issues will now be explored via more in depth interviews and desk research, followed by a series of expert Workshops in September and October 2021. The objective is to identify existing leaders, high impact actions, and policy recommendations, to enable Europe to make faster progress on these critical topics by 2025. A report summarising the findings and recommendations will be published by the end of 2021.
  36. 36. 37 The Future of Work in Europe Please do get involved. If you have alternative views to add to the mix, then please do share them with us via douglas.jones@futureagenda.org. Similarly, if you are keen to be interviewed as part of the programme or would like to be considered for participation in the Autumn workshops, do please let us know. To keep in touch with this and all other Future Agenda activity, please join our LinkedIn Group (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8227884/) or follow us on Twitter (@FutureAgenda). Get Involved
  37. 37. 38 The Future of Work in Europe The Future of Work Soft Skills Digital Productivity Reinventing Roles Green Jobs Digital Skills Smarter Talent Robots as Colleagues Immersive Experiences Reskilling and Upskilling Personal Learning Networks Agreed Accreditation Learning to be Creative Human Touch Equality and Diversity Pace of Change Vulnerable Roles Working Longer Automation of Interaction 20 Year Degree Projects Not Jobs Attracting Nomads Porous Organisations Valued Part- Time Work Working Near Home Next Gen Expectations The Sustainability Imperative Skilling for Resilience Socially Valuable Jobs Deeper Collaboration Productivity Increase Data as an Asset Speed to Scale Smaller 'Big' Companies Polarised Workers Data and Digital Literacy Blurring of Employment Appendix A: The Future of Work – 30 Foresights
  38. 38. 39 The Future of Work in Europe
  39. 39. 40 The Future of Work in Europe
  40. 40. 41 The Future of Work in Europe
  41. 41. 42 The Future of Work in Europe
  42. 42. 43 The Future of Work in Europe
  43. 43. 44 The Future of Work in Europe References 1 https://www.vision-project.org 2 https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/the-complete-guide-to-digital-skills 3 https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/RW21_02/RW_Digital_skills_EN.pdf 4 https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/desi 5 https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/04/02/innovative-digital-green-smart-setting-out-a-new-growth-model-for- central-eastern-and-south-eastern-europe/ 6 https://e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/ 7 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/europes-digital-decade-digital-targets-2030_en 8 https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1223&langId=en 9 https://ec.europa.eu/education/education-in-the-eu/digital-education-action-plan_en 10 https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/digital-skills-coalition 11 https://www.amazonfutureengineer.co.uk 12 https://news.microsoft.com/2015/09/16/microsoft-expands-global-youthspark-initiative-to-focus-on-computer-science/ 13 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-deakin-soft-skills- business-success-170517.pdf 14 https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/five-fifty-soft-skills-for-a-hard-world 15 https://hbr.org/2019/09/yes-employers-do-value-liberal-arts-degrees 16 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/06/the-guardian-view-on-arts-education-cuts-we-dont-need- no-philistines 17 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/deloitte-au-economics-deakin-soft-skills- business-success-170517.pdf 18 https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1223 19 https://softskills4.eu 20 https://softskills4.eu 21 https://aws.amazon.com/training/restart/ 22 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/dont-fear-ai-it-will-lead-to-long-term-job-growth/ 23 https://technologymagazine.com/ai/375mn-jobs-be-displaced-automation-2030-mckinsey 24 https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1223 25 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/europes-digital-decade-digital- targets-2030_en 26 https://www.lexisnexis.com/community/insights/legal/b/thought-leadership/posts/the-power-of-artificial-intelligence-in- legal-research 27 https://stephenfollows.com/how-many-people-work-on-a-hollywood-film/ 28 https://www.statista.com/statistics/921593/gig-economy-number-of-freelancers-us/ 29 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/economy-works-people/jobs-growth-and-investment/european- pillar-social-rights/european-pillar-social-rights-20-principles_en 30 https://www.upwork.com 31 https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_781859/lang--en/index.htm 32 https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/press_releases/?3410966/39-million-new-jobs-if-governments-stop-investing-in- subsidies-which-harm-nature-WWF
  44. 44. 45 The Future of Work in Europe 33 https://www.undp.org/publications/peoples-climate-vote 34 https://www.ft.com/content/5eda8127-a94e-4958-be30-e9bf73a1778e 35 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal/delivering-european-green-deal_en 36 https://blog.google/alphabet/alphabet-issues-sustainability-bonds-support-environmental-and-social-initiatives/ 37 https://www.bruegel.org/2021/06/workers-can-unlock-the-artificial-intelligence-revolution/ 38 https://startupsmagazine.co.uk/article-ps145bn-productivity-boost-uk-economy-if-sme-digital-investment-can-be- unlocked 39 https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/economic-bulletin/articles/2021/html/ecb.ebart202008_03~da0f5f792a.en.html 40 https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20170491 41 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en 42 https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/europes-digital-decade-digital- targets-2030_en
  45. 45. 46 The Future of Work in Europe About Future Agenda Future Agenda is an open source think tank and advisory firm. We help organisations, large and small, to explore emerging opportunities, identify new growth platforms and develop game-changing innovations. Founded in 2010, Future Agenda has pioneered an open foresight approach that brings together senior leaders across business, academia, NFP and government. The aim is to connect the informed and influential, to challenge assumptions and build a more comprehensive view about the future that will help deliver positive, lasting impact. For more information and to have access to all our insights please visit www.futureagenda.org Contact: Dr. Tim Jones: tim.jones@futureagenda.org Caroline Dewing: caroline.dewing@futureagenda.org James Alexander : james.alexander@futureagenda.org

As companies and governments around the world grapple with accommodating changes in the workplace, the workforce and the nature of work itself, we are pleased to be continuing our Future of Work foresight programme. Building on previous global research undertaken over the past few years, we are now looking in depth at six pivotal issues that have been prioritised as areas of major potential change. These are digital skills, soft skills, reinventing roles, the blurring of work, green jobs and digital productivity. Initially taking a European focus, with the support of Amazon, over the next couple of months a series of expert digital workshops are exploring the core shifts ahead and their implications for organisations and wider policy. This PDF sets the scene for the dialogue both within the workshops and more widely. If you would like to be involved or have comments on the potential changes ahead, do let us know and we can accommodate. As always all discussions are under the Chatham House Rule and so there is no attribution and, as we progress with each area, we will be sharing a synthesis of all new insights and recommendations over the rest of the year.

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