Report

The Future of Work and Skills – The case of the South Eastern Europe and Turkey (SEET), Eastern Partnership (EaP), Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) and Central Asia

The objective of this Issues Paper is to analyse the impact of global developments on skills demand in the ETF’s partner countries and discuss implications for policy reforms to manage the transition of education, training and lifelong learning systems of the future. A team of international and national experts contributed to the paper by (i) collecting and analysing information, data and new ideas on the skills demands of the future in ETF partner countries; and (ii) exploring responses for the better management of the transition towards an inclusive future for the benefit of individuals and societies.

Chapter 1 develops an analytical framework for the study and investigates the context and the current and foreseeable global trends in economies, labour markets and skills. Globalisation is seen as a common denominator for many other global trends, with effects on the environment, culture, political systems, economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies worldwide. The impacts of specific global trends vary by geographical, regional and socioeconomic contexts. Among future drivers impacting work and skills are digitalisation, automation and robotics, especially in routine occupations, although uncertainties about the magnitude of the impacts remain. Changes in work and skills culture require changes in human attitudes and behaviour.

Chapter 2 focuses on the specific challenges faced by the ETF’s partner countries as a result of those global trends: digitalisation as a driver of diversification of economic structures; automation as a threat to foreign direct investments (FDIs) and offshoring; the challenges of labour markets, especially youth and female unemployment and inequality; demographic challenges together with migration flows and ‘brain drain’; the impacts of climate change and diminishing natural resources; and increasing political instability.

Chapter 3 explores in more depth the type and extent of changes in labour markets within the ETF’s regions. The chapter analyses the key factors that affect countries’ abilities to cope with these changes. These include the relative size of the youth population, participation in tertiary education and public expenditure on education as a percentage of countries’ gross domestic product (GDP), and employment by broad economic sectors.

Chapter 4 discusses the existing policy responses and strategic choices of the ETF’s partner countries for effectively managing the transformation of work and skills, and provides a number of recommendations for these countries. The recommendations for further developing work and skills in these countries highlight the importance of creating a future-oriented culture, mindsets and corresponding foresight exercises. Improving the economy and mitigating socioeconomic issues, such as corruption and inequality, are considered key conditions for fostering sufficient investments and achieving progress in education, vocational training and lifelong learning system reforms.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The future of work and skills in ETF partner countries | ETF

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