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Will robotization change the labour market?

Educating and training the workforce
 
At an ever-increasing pace, 200,000 new industrial robots are born each year in the world. In 2015, Guy Ryder estimates there will be 1.5 million of them. Faced with this surge of automation, the key words seem to be anticipation and adaptation. “It’s essential to anticipate future technological developments, education and train the global workforce to develop the means enabling it to participate in the modern labour market,” advocates the ILO Director General. A failure to prepare for the future could put many companies in difficulty, as the labour market rapidly evolves. 
 
To cross this delicate stage, Guy Ryder calls for strengthening government programs and major investments in skills transfer by employees and unions. Investment in education should also be promoted. “An abundant resource of workers who are appropriately trained and willing to pursue skills acquisition boosts investor confidence and therefore jobs,” he continues. 
 
Mitigating inequalities
 
But these investments should not go without significant social protection, while “current newcomers into the labour market are mostly only for short-term or temporary contracts.” To mitigate the inequalities which tend the be self-reinforcing, the ILO Director General calls for mitigation measures by governments: a strong system of unemployment benefits, a dignified pension plan, sustainable health coverage. “In a world where work is more and more automated and where employee-employer relationships are breaking down, the values enshrined in the ILO’s labour standards have never been more useful,” says Guy Ryder.
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