"3D" - these are the three main drivers of structural change digitalisation, demographic change and decarbonization (ecological transformation). These drivers are having an enormous impact on the world of work and on demands placed on employment. During Germany’s presidency of the G7, one thing we will focus on will therefore be how these drivers affect individual employability. Special emphasis is given to the impact of the green transformation on the labour market of the future.
Secure jobs in times of change
Climate change and related policy measures have a strong impact on the G7’s labour markets. Decarbonisation is creating new jobs in greening industries, but many other jobs will be affected as well. It is therefore very important to understand how the jobs are being impacted, to get people prepared, and to make sure that no one is left behind.
While there will indeed be job losses, many new jobs will be created. There is already an urgent need for action to make the transition to a green economy a just transition. The G7 have a responsibility here.
In the run-up to Germany’s presidency of the G7, we commissioned a study from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to understand the impact of digitalisation, demographic change and decarbonisation on the G7’s labour markets. As leading industrial nations, the G7 have both the responsibility and ability to play a pioneering role in shaping global structural change. For this to succeed, we have set ourselves the following goals for the G7:
- both bolstering continuing education and training because it is crucial to improving individual employability as well as ensuring inclusive access to continuing education,
- promoting individual employability in the context of the green transformation by supporting public employment services (employment agencies and job centres), also outside G7 countries,
- agreeing on (national) measures for improving individual employability and learning from each other.
Infographic on employability with the title: “Labour market developments. Movements in the labour market from 2020 to 2025: The relationship between the demand for labour and the availability of jobs."
This infographic illustrates developments in jobs and labour. Given ongoing structural changes, there will be about half a million more new jobs to be filled than there will be new workers entering the labour market in 2025 compared to 2020. The factors driving structural change play a role in this development: Digital technologies, demographic change and decarbonisation to counteract climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated this development. There are more than 4.6 million workers, of which around 89% have completed vocational training, while 11% have not.
Bolstering continuing education and training: Individually and in general
Labour market changes have been accelerated by the COVID 19 pandemic, digitalisation and the green transformation. Technological and digital innovations are reshaping entire professions, sometimes shaking their foundations. Machines controlled through digital technology, robotics and artificial intelligence already have an established role in some industries. Decarbonisation is also placing new demands on existing jobs while creating new jobs that are necessary for the green transformation. This will significantly increase demand for rethinking careers and switching jobs or even industries in the next decade.
Continuing education and training is a crucial part of improving individual employability. As the G7 we must therefore bolster continuing education and training and help people flourish in the labour market of the future through knowledge and skills. Measures for inclusive access to continuing education and training are equally important, especially measures to reach groups currently underrepresented.
Increasing employability worldwide through excellent cooperation
As the G7, we also have a global responsibility to promote employment in a green economy around the world. The public employment services are in direct contact with people and they do important goal-oriented counselling work focused on individual needs. The enhanced cooperation of the employment services bilaterally and in the Wold Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) network lets them learn from each other to improve their local counselling work and to support people around the world during the transition to a green economy.