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We call for more investment in the institutions, policies and strategies that will support people through future of work transitions. *
Working lives have always involved transitions: school to work, becoming parents, changing jobs, moving into retirement. The challenge of these transitions is compounded by the global transformations underway – technology, demographic shifts and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Supporting people through these transitions will expand their choices and provide the security to cope with change. It will empower people to shape their working lives and societies to harness the demographic advantages in some regions and create lifelong active societies in others.
The Transition from School to Work.
The transition from school to work is a pivotal moment for young people, but one in which many of them are left behind. Failure to navigate this transition successfully leaves long-lasting scars in their lives. This challenge will be compounded in the future by the rapidly growing youth population in some regions, where youth unemployment is increasing alongside education levels. The failure to tap into this enormous potential will create long-term developmental and societal consequences. Young people need strong support through this transition so that they integrate into labour markets and become active members of our societies.
Young People’s Work Must be Rewarded.
We recommend that governments increase opportunities for decent work for youth through employment programmes and support for young entrepreneurs. The private sector has a particular role to play in offering young people quality apprenticeships and their first opportunity to work. Young people’s work must be rewarded in line with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Special attention needs to be given to promoting access and participation in lifelong learning for young people not in employment, education or training to ensure their social inclusion. Interaction and cooperation between countries with ageing populations and those with young populations will generate labour market benefits for both.
Older workers are an asset to our economies and societies, ever more so as working lives are extended. We, therefore, recommend increased support to older workers that expand choice and enables a lifelong active society. Those who want to remain economically active should be able to access assistance to do so, for example through flexible working arrangements that include reduced working hours and telework. Governments could increase opportunities for partial retirement, or raise the retirement age on an optional basis while protecting older people from having to work beyond their limits.
Technology provides new and innovative means of adapting jobs and workplaces to facilitate the continued employment of ageing workers and those who have or develop disabilities over the course of their working life. In many countries, older people, whether in subsistence agriculture or low-wage retail, cannot afford to stop working.
Ensuring at least a basic pension for everyone would allow workers above retirement age to reduce their working time or stop working if they desire and mitigate old-age poverty. To support people through increasing labour market transitions, governments need to increase investment in public employment services (PES), combining digital services with personal counselling and placement services and improving labour market information to support decision-making. By making active labour market policies proactive, workers can be better prepared for these transitions. New mechanisms need to be found to reconfigure unemployment insurance, training and leave entitlements as “employment insurance”, improving employability (e.g. training for employment, self-employment or entrepreneurship) and empowering workers to pivot in the face of job loss. Collaboration between PES and other partner organizations, including those in the private sector, needs to be reinforced.
These are collective challenges; they demand collective responses. Social dialogue and collective bargaining play a key role in building resilience and adaptation. Transition agreements between employers’ and workers’ organizations at the sectoral level can provide for early intervention, counselling and financial support.
*The article is from the book: WORK FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE. (Pp 34-35) International Labour Organization (2019)
Lucubrate Magazine Issue 56, April 5th, 2019
Categories: Future Work, Job, Magazine
The picture on the top: Myroslava