The world of work is changing, therefore policies, which are there to ensure the safeguarding of rights and protecting the vulnerable must also change and adapt. So to harness the momentum, the OECD has convened on the 14th January 2016, ahead of the meeting of employment and labour ministers from the OECD countries, a more open policy forum on the Future of Work.
Resilient and Inclusive labour markets
Agnes from the WorkLife HUB was also there, and following the meeting spoke to Mark Keese about the conclusions of the meeting, as well as the OECD's plans for the continuation of this vital conversation. We chat with Mark about the key underlying issues, and how policymakers need to shift their thinking to be more agile, and build more resilient labour markets through policies.
One of the underlying factors is of course the aftermath of the terrible economic crisis, which together with mega-trends such as globalisation, digitisation and rapid population ageing seems to penalise some groups of the population more than others. Most hit are young unemployed people, and older workers.
Skills, skills and skills are going to be the watchwords of the future.
Technological advancements are exponential. With any new piece of technology or innovation, a number of others are created. This will not only profoundly change the way we live and communicate, but also the way we work. And in turn, this will not only have an implication on work itself, but on housing, on work-life balance, on taxation... and a number of other related issues, as we explore with Mark in the podcast.
We need to solve the issue of both bringing more people into the labour market, and also keeping them longer.
These mega-trends, if unregulated seem to create an abundance of opportunities for some, and cut off opportunities for so many. How can we harness these disruptive changes by maximising their opportunities, and also reducing the costs society and particularly parts of society are currently paying.
The OECD has this fantastic convening power to bring together different countries, also different actors in the countries, and break down the silos, and create a policy conversation in a much more systemic way, that will lead to the co-creation of better policies. But for this, more data and evidence is needed to separate the hype ("robots are going to steal your job") from reality.
The OECD is therefore planning a number of events, the January Policy Forum was the launch of their new focus on the Future of Work. And the up-coming OECD Forum will also tackle many of these issues.