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Transformation of the International Labour Market: Meeting the Challenges
25 May 2018
16:30—17:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
A common labour market for the world does not exist

We have to see that it is not one labour market. There are many labour markets across the world, in spite of globalization. We have unemployment at very different levels. At the moment, it is low in North America, very low in parts of Europe, low in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and also quite low here in Russia. And then we have a number of places with quite high unemployment: Southern Europe and many of the emerging markets — Hans-Paul Buerkner, Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group.

The old-fashioned idea that one solution fits all problems is something that should be consigned to the rubbish bin of history. As an organization with 79 member countries, I can promise you that there are 79 different economies at a minimum — Simon Bartley, President, WorldSkills International.

Russia must have its own strategy for developing the labour market

In terms of the potential of the labour market, Russia is in a more complex situation than its main economic competitors. Our demographic change does not permit us to have the kinds of specialists that Europe or the USA have. Any strategy claiming that we have to do what is being done in other countries is doomed to failure. If you follow common rules, you will lose — Dmitry Peskov, Director, Young Professionals Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (Agency for Strategic Initiatives).

The main objective of education is to prepare a workforce with the needed skills

Our challenges in the transformation of the labour market occur not just because of technological drivers. There are other drivers that are forcing us to change, like demographic changes or climate change. <...> If you want to have a holistic approach to how you address these challenges, you need to approach them from the point of view of the transformation or reinvention of the education system. It is not just a matter of technical skills, like using a robot, or having advanced skills to ensure one has a job at a later stage — Kyriacos Kokkinos, Member of the Board of Directors, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.

ISSUES
New technologies, coupled with an ageing population, could lead to a growth in unemployment

How will technology change the situation? Of course, there are many scenarios. Depending on whom you believe, up to 85% of people will be either unemployed or providing low-level services for the top 15%. These are horror scenarios. <...> We do not know how the situation will evolve over the next 10/15/20 years. <...> One thing that people really focus a lot on is autonomous driving. A significant share of jobs are lorry drivers, train drivers, delivery van drivers, taxi drivers, and so forth. That’s a large chunk of jobs that could potentially go away — Hans-Paul Buerkner, Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group.

Increasing the retirement age in Russia and adding another 12 million or so people to the labour market will make a significant impact on the market, bringing in a large number of well-educated people. However, they will be less amenable to digitalization and will not possess the modern skills needed to move the economy forward — Natalia Pochinok, Rector, Russian State Social University.

Competition for talent is growing more acute across the world

In the last 20–30 years universities have moved beyond national borders and begun to compete for a pool of 7–8 million people who are willing to move away from their countries. Competition for these talented people is a completely new phenomenon. We cannot idly stand by as this competition ensues — Andrey Volkov, Academic Policy Advisor, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO.

Education is failing to keep up with changing demand.

The biggest problem is to do with teaching the necessary skills. These are changing faster than we are able to keep track of them. The education system is moving even more slowly in this regard. Discussions centre on two issues. We either need a universal or a narrow specialist, and this is no banal question — Julia Uzhakina, Director General, Rosatom Corporate Academy.

SOLUTIONS
Digitalizing HR recordkeeping

The digitalization of the labour market encompasses a list of specific resources, measures, and aims. In the HR sector we must use electronic resources to ensure the labour market develops. <...> We intend to move over to e-document management. This step is linked to the electronic version of the employment record book, which will enable us to digitalize a citizen’s entire work history. We will also move over to electronic oversight — Vsevolod Vukolov, Head, Federal Service for Labour and Employment (Rostrud).

Education must be life-long

What we really have to think about is how to ensure that people get the right education, the right training, to be able to adjust, adapt, and take on new jobs as they move forward. <...> We also need to make a huge effort to have lifelong training. We should have lifelong training as a contract between companies and employees — Hans-Paul Buerkner, Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group.

We have to focus our efforts on unique competencies which will ensure economic competitiveness for the medium term, without copying the steps taken by other players — Dmitry Peskov, Director, Young Professionals Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (Agency for Strategic Initiatives).

One of the areas that we focus on is the development of our people, the attraction of people to multiple functions. <...> Through graduate management trainee programmes, through boost programmes, through supply management trainee programmes <...> we are giving talents a taster of all different functions within that particular domain, allowing them to build up a breadth of experience within the company. We are not just recruiting to fill a vacant position — Richard White, Vice President for Procurement and Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev Europe.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS