Fewer jobs, different jobs, or constantly changing jobs? There are many forecasts about the impact of technology on our labour market. Labour market specialist Jan Denys doesn’t believe in the doom and gloom reports about automation and robotisation that are massively taking away jobs.
“Nothing currently proves that the new technology would not provide enough new jobs,” he says. “Know that – in addition to the doomsday messages – you have studies that expect the other extreme. This is the extreme where the new technology creates more jobs than we will be able to fill. I don’t expect it to take either direction.” Experts in the field of digitisation or automation often point out that technology mainly replaces routine tasks.
“The robot industry will create new profiles,” says Jan Denys. “Profiles that are strong in creating, integrating, and maintaining robots, but also specialists in web building, web design, and so on. At the same time, other jobs will be created that don’t require a high level of education: people who enter data, for example.”
According to Denys, the government has an important role to play in this transition, but we can also expect something from the technology itself. “The quality of matching, for example through machine learning, will undeniably improve,” he foresees. “We will be able to integrate more variables and more competencies into that process. In addition, data analysis will provide employees with much more information about their careers. Technology will be able to signal to people that their skills are gradually becoming less ideal for the labour market. Then you could, for example, link this to findings about training courses that they followed or could follow. The question is mainly how people will deal with this. Do employees embrace that or run away from it? It’s not technology, but rather mankind that is the most unpredictable factor in this evolution.”