Report: Employees’ skills must be safeguarded in the age of artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence will transform working life and the skills needed in most occupations. It is estimated that nearly one million Finns must update their skills. Therefore, every working-age person in Finland should have a skills account or voucher that would help them get the training they need.

This is one of the proposals of the working group, chaired by Osmo Soininvaara, that submitted its report to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä on 20 June 2018. The report discusses four perspectives on work in the age of artificial intelligence: growth and employment; labour market; learning and skills; and ethics. It gives 28 policy recommendations.

“The working group’s report serves as a basis for public debate on how artificial intelligence will affect our society. Developing employees’ skills throughout their careers is a key to managing change. The skills account proposed in the report would offer an interesting opportunity for developing demand-based education and training,” Minister Lintilä says.

Skills account would meet training needs 

Artificial intelligence based technologies will transform gradually work contents and operating methods in all sectors and in all jobs. There are only a few occupations that can be fully automated, but most occupations have some tasks that can be automated. It means that employees will need new skills.

The working group proposes a skills account or voucher that employees could use to get the training they need from education providers and thereby develop their skills. Even entrepreneurs, unemployed people and people of working age who are not in working life would have the right to get training. The details of the new training scheme would be determined later.

AI will change employment services

Harnessing the potential for growth from artificial intelligence means that the functioning of the labour market will take on an ever greater meaning. The working group says that we need measures that help people change from their job to other tasks and jobs where they can make the most of their skills and be more productive. In this way, more jobs would become vacant for those who are entering the labour market.

One way to promote workforce mobility is to use artificial intelligence to create a job alert application for suitable job openings. Employment services should be offered both to unemployed jobseekers and to people who are in working life.

Report is part of the Artificial Intelligence Programme

The report was written by a working group of leading researches on economy and work, senior government officials, and experts representing the social partners. There has been five working groups under the steering group for the Artificial Intelligence Programme: one of these was the working group on the transformation of work and society, which was chaired by Soininvaara.

The report is part of the Artificial Intelligence Programme, which was set up by Minister Lintilä and is chaired by Pekka Ala-Pietilä.

The report is available at www.tem.fi/julkaisut (in Finnish). More information about the Artificial Intelligence Programme is available at aiera.fi

 

Inquiries:

Osmo Soininvaara, chair of the working group, tel. +35845 121 4559

Olli Koski, Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7174

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