The digital revolution, globalisation and rapid population ageing are changing profoundly the types of jobs needed and the way we work, and may lead to even more dramatic changes over the coming decades. Will the many unemployed ever find a job again with the skills they have today in new world of work? Where are new jobs being created and what do they look like? How many more old jobs will disappear and how will the remaining jobs change? What will workers need to stay employable? Answers to these questions are crucial in order to adapt our employment and social policies to the new reality and promote an inclusive labour market through more and better jobs.

The German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) are organising the fourth international TASKS conference. Automation and digitisation technologies increasingly allow to perform job tasks that could previously only be done by humans. This development has triggered scientific and public debates on the future of work. The aim of this conference is to bring together economists and sociologists to discuss frontier research on labour market effects of automation and digitisation.

Many innovations over the past decades have substituted labour and changed how we work. Much of the tasks we perform today are mediated by computers or machines. Connectivity is a requirement as different jobs and tasks can and in fact are carried out over distances and borders. Many factories are almost completely automated because industrial robots are now cheap and easy to customise.

The following questions will be debated:
How does the division of tasks between workers and machines develop?
Which employment opportunities arise from new products and services?
How do workplace environments change?
How do workers adapt to changing skill demands?
How can policy help to support workers that face difficulties in adjusting?
Eurofound contribution
Martina Bisello, Research officer, Employment and Change unit, will present the European Jobs Monitor thematic chapter. Her paper is entitled ‘What you do at work and how: A framework for measuring tasks across occupations’.

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