20.03.2008

Report on the impact of new technologies

The European Parliament has funded a study on interactions between new
technologies and the job market; flexicurity and training/vocational training.

The report intends to provide a conceptual framework for the interaction
between new technologies and job markets. Technologies which are considered as
'future technologies' in academic and public debates are analysed, such as,
Information and Communication Technologies (IT), Nanotechnology, Biotechnology
and Converging Technologies. Except for IT, these technologies represent the
most intensive research and development sectors, which have experienced the
highest growth rate since the 1990s. For the nearest future, the demand for a
highly qualified labour force is expected to be predominantly in these
technological fields. Information technologies, however, play a central role
when reflecting the change of work patterns and organisation in the last
decades. Especially with regard to changes in work organisation, IT may be
considered as crucial for the restructuring of global value chains and for
changes in global working patterns.

Thus, the policy recommendations of this report are oriented mainly towards the
specific situation of the creation of knowledge-based economies in Europe. The
complexity of these processes implies that the impact of technologies on labour
markets and the labour force varies among different branches, sectors and
institutional settings. The authors conclusde that "Political programmes
enhancing the 'employability' of workers, therefore, should take into account a
wide range of social risks, but also should offer a wide range of possibilities
to integrate workers into working processes."


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AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work