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YES! topic 2018
All set to tackle technological change with further training!?
by Sylvi Rzepka and Rebecca Fehn, researchers at iwp Institute for Economic Policy at the University of Cologne.
Selected by Schule Schloss Hansenberg
Digitisation and automation will significantly change the labour market and the need for further training. Recent studies estimate that about 6-12% of current jobs may be lost to automatization. For another 25% of jobs, we will see a drastic change in the task requirements. Thus, employees will need to perform new tasks within their current occupation.
Training plays a crucial role in making this technological change in the labour market as smoothly as possible. Appropriate further training can help employees adjust to these changes in the labour market. The new, digital learning options, like massive open online courses or educational applications, can make further training much more comfortable, as they provide low-priced, high-quality training everywhere at any time.
Challenge: However, studies point to unequal participation in further training concerning educational background and age. It seems especially problematic that low-skilled employees participate less often in additional training than high-skilled. Also, they use the internet less often for educational purposes than high-skilled employees, even when they have access to fast internet. This is also called the “digital divide”.
What is the current state of competencies of the German labour force, especially with respect to information and communication technology (ICT literacy)?
How do these competencies differ across different population groups (e.g. education or age)? To what extent is there a “digital divide” regarding digital media usage in Germany?
How does the current participation in further training vary across different population groups?
What kind of policies has already been introduced to foster further training? What kind of incentives and/ or regulatory framework could policymakers set to ensure that in the future all employees, especially the low-skilled, participate in further training – both in online and in traditional (offline) courses?