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The ILO in the Digital Age - Shaping the Future of Work

August 30, 2018

Björn Böhning at the ILO workshop.
Source:  BMAS/D. Baller

How can we shape the future of work in the digital age to ensure that it meets the needs that workers have as human beings? How can we promote social dialogue and strengthen social partnerships on both national and international levels in our rapidly changing world of work? How can we make better use of multilateral solutions for the world of work in the face of global trends?

These questions were addressed by representatives from employers' associations, trade unions, Germany’s Federal Government, foundations, companies, and the fields of research and civil society at the workshop discussion organised jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) on 29 August 2018. Ideas and positions were exchanged on how to shape the international process on the topic.

In his opening speech, State Secretary Björn Böhning (BMAS) underlined the need to discuss the challenges posed by the changing world of work and possible solutions in all important international forums. Digital transformation, globalisation, demographic change and migration do not stop at national borders. That is why we need to find solutions all at the international level above all. The ILO had a central role to play here, he added. Germany, he said, is committed to working towards a final declaration on the future of work at the next International Labour Conference in 2019. Böhning also reaffirmed the commitment of Germany’s Federal Government to strengthening the ILO institutionally, a goal which has been set down in the coalition agreement: It is important to us that the ILO sends out a strong message when it marks its centenary next year and that it shows itself to be an effective, politically influential institution in the multilateral system.

Both co-organiser Dr Annette Niederfranke, Director of the ILO Office for Germany, as well as Thorben Albrecht, former State Secretary at the BMAS gave positive assessments of the event. In his role as a member of the ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work, Thorben Albrecht will introduce the results of the German workshop into the Commission's discussions.