Dividing workers into “white” or “blue” collars is no longer valid: the green and digital transition requires new skills.

For many years, the classification was used in the workplace – especially in English-speaking countries – to group workers: “white collar”, referred to on the shirts of managers and skilled professionals, and white collar. “blue”. For general work overalls in factories. This is one of the traditions that the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) calls for to break the necessary transformation of people’s training and qualifications in the face of two main processes, climate change and digitalization, and their effects. work.

Traditional divisions are outdated for a world of continuous and rapid transformation, the international organization of “rich” countries argues in its report OECD Skills Outlook 2023 (PDF), published this week. In general, blue-collar workers were considered “unskilled” or “low-skilled,” while managers and professionals were considered “high-skilled,” the study says, which is related to the level of education—generally regulated—rather than the type of competencies individuals possess.

For example, the OECD notes that a worker may have excellent motor and problem-solving skills and low-level programming skills, while a professional may have the opposite. Depending on the context, certain or other skills will be required.

In addition, the traditional classification of “white collar” and “blue collar” represents an obstacle to the increasingly demanding change of the chip: that training does not end with formal education. These categories “reduce the incentive” to invest in lifelong learning, the international organization believes, because manual workers may find the acquisition of a wide range of skills “out of reach” and professionals “who do not need to invest more in development. about their abilities”. Both premises are incorrect.

Because, if until now it was most common to carry out certain studies (basic, vocational training, university or postgraduate) and leave the study at the beginning of the working phase, now it is required that it accompanies the workers throughout their professional life. . that learning, reskilling and acquiring skills is constant in order to adapt to the challenges that the transition to a green and digital society and economy will – and already poses – pose.

Like other institutions, such as the European Commission, which has declared 2023 as the Year of Skills, the OECD emphasizes the promotion of skills training that helps workers cope with the expected changes. as they currently exist.

This summer, the ILO estimated that AI will create far more jobs than it will destroy: 427 million jobs worldwide compared to 75 million automated jobs, with women more likely to be affected. These transitions present several fronts: on the one hand, the need to train people for new positions that arise and, on the other hand, retraining and retraining workers affected by closures or changes to pollute less and be more energy efficient or due to modernization. Processes caused by technology.

The OECD emphasizes the need to promote skills in areas directly related to these transitions, such as specialized scientific knowledge of sustainability, as well as computer science, data analysis and processing, mathematics and other sciences. Also other human skills (and therefore difficult to replace with algorithms and other technologies) such as critical and creative thinking, communication, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, problem solving, team management, etc.

The organization also lists languages, and English in particular, as one of the priority skills for many positions in an increasingly globalized world. especially in the technological and highly skilled sectors.

The report identifies two groups that governments should pay particular attention to in order to successfully implement these two transitions. On the one hand, young people and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who are “less likely to acquire skills”, especially outside of formal education.

Ayuda en Acción, a non-governmental organization that has specialized in children for years and which after the pandemic has also focused on the most vulnerable young people, sees this as a reinforcement of support for the least favored sectors. “It’s not coffee for everyone and it doesn’t empower everyone in the same way. You have to understand the diversity of young people and what they need in each case,” says Matías Figueroa, director of Ayuda en Acción’s European programs. The NGO has created an index to assess the disadvantages young people face at key moments in their transition to adulthood, where they estimate that “40% of people between the ages of 15 and 29” experience disadvantages that prevent them from accessing the labor market in Spain.

The most vulnerable young people need “more personalized support” in this training, which allows them to acquire the tools with which they will later have autonomy, Figueroa says. From more guidance on where to take their careers, to support during training and ‘work on motivation’. “They are young people who come with a backpack, their self-esteem is often very low, so the main thing is to feel that they have opportunities, psychosocial support,” he adds.

On the other hand, the OECD asks that the population that has been negatively affected by these changes, such as job losses, not be neglected. Both correspond to the so-called “fair transition” for these people, without leaving them, and from the perspective of society as a whole, so that they can contribute to other activities through retraining.

Also, in order not to create social currents against the green and digital transition. “For every 1% increase in unemployment, the percentage of adults who say they prioritize the environment over the economy decreases by 1.7%,” the study said.

Source: El Diario





related posts

Post List

Hot News