Alliierte Schulen Graz
Creating Jobs For the Future

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2006 - 28.01.2006

Free trade, globalization and telecoms have transformed the global labour market as many companies no longer need to be so close to their markets. "For shareholders and executives the benefits are fairly obvious, but for employees and voters it is far less clear cut,"said facilitator Declan Curry, Business Presenter, BBC World, United Kingdom. "As [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel put it, there is a serious danger of social unrest not just from excessive outsourcing but also if there is a lack of job creation in the future."

"Politicians are promising people that everything is going to be alright. You can live longer and not work longer and carry on with working practices as they are. But it is just political cannabis,"insisted Sir Digby Jones, Director-General, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), United Kingdom. "In the developed world, we are going to have to work until we are 70, and develop flexible skills to do different types of jobs when we get older. And that will take political bravery."He argued that society must understand that the labour market cannot protect particular jobs any longer but only the idea of some sort of job, through reskilling and investment.

Ali Babacan, Minister of Economy of Turkey and Chief Negotiator for the European Union; Young Global Leader, explained that his country is already trying to tackle the problem. "Turkey is going through a big reform phase, with a continuous process of change. Every year, our workforce needs 500,000 to 700,000 new jobs."Key issues include vocational training to shift people from one industry to another and the need to encourage entrepreneurs. "But when it comes to labour it is very easy for governments to take populist choices. They do not like to take action unless there is a real crisis situation."

"Many of the types of jobs we have today didn't exist ten years ago, so we must ensure that the labour market is fully open to encouraging creativity,"argued Clara Gaymard, Chairman, Invest in France Agency, France. "It's not just about mobility. Africa has a lot of flexibility but few jobs. And in the US it seems relatively easy to change to a completely different type of job. In Europe we don't have that attitude. We are used to having one set of skills and staying in one area."Asked why France now has a level of productivity higher than even the US, she replied: "It is because we have happy workers who are not anxious about paying for their family's medical bills or education. And they have time to enjoy their private lives so when they are at work they are very focused."

John Hagel, President, John Hagel and Associates, USA, pointed out that the combination of a greatly increased flexibility in where a business can be located, coupled with a whole new workforce in China, India and Russia, is going to mean more rapid change. "Outsourcing used to be based on very low-skilled jobs, but now it is quickly evolving to much more highly skilled ones. And the pace of this upskilling of offshore expertise is quite phenomenal."The creation of future jobs will require a rapid shift in skills and more and more workers becoming familiar with IT and computers, he added.

"A good example of new jobs is where unpaid work has become paid work, for example in Scandinavia,"said Neil Kearney, General Secretary, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation, Brussels. "So much of the workforce are now in employment that a lot of housework has effectively become paid work as numerous people now employ others to do it."But he added that the problem exists in societies where certain occupations have been degraded to such an extent that most people feel it undesirable to do any form of manual labour, even plumbing or carpentry. "We must restore those skills."

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© Teilnehmer des Projektes Allied Schools Graz zuletzt bearbeitet am: 15. Februar 2006