Institute for Politics and Society organized the roundtable discussion on Better future for labor landscape, which was a part of the conference Next 100 Symposium 2019. The main speakers were Jan Švejnar, Director, Center on Global Economic Governance, Columbia University, Sarah Trippl, Policy Advisor for Social, Family and Labour Market Policies, NEOS, Barbora Bühnová, Associate Professor, Masaryk University; Co-founding & Governing Board Member, Czechitas and Slavoj Musilek, General Director for Central & Eastern Europe, Russia & CIS, Universal Robots.
Notes from the discussion:
- People are afraid to lose their jobs. The goal is to promote a vision of automation by creating policies without fearing people. We have to educate people in schools and change the system, because, standard education system is outdated. Data science education is important as technological progress is very fast. Experience is not the key thing anymore.
- Automation is a challenge. The business and the government should support it.
- How to best utilize the benefits of automation? Changes in the environment are inevitable.
- Present is different from the past. In the past, the change was painful: long term unemployment is not rising, it is fluctuating but pretty much constant. Painful adjustment: it is the government, education institutions or businesses that need to take the burden of automation period.
- It is not right to use people like machines, people are not utilizing their skills and potential. Everyone has a potential to grow, get a better experience and competencies. It remains the same. Businesses don’t think about how to increase productivity. Employees should utilize their potential.
- If people are unqualified, government steps in and tries to get them a qualification. We should take one step further. Shared responsibility: you invest in a bank account and your employer invested too. In five years you can utilize this money for training, if desired.
- It is difficult to change the career in the Czech Republic. It is necessary to help people to go through the transition, through problems of lack of knowledge about new field. It is common that people are feeling bad when they are scared of the unknown. They think that instead of doing something badly they will not do it at all, because it is not perfect. Once people get requalified, they can do it again and again and all the processes become easier. People should learn how to get information and learn.
- Guidance is needed for people, so that they do it on their own in the future. It is possible to build up the courage to learn. If they see opportunity, it is important to help them and utilize it. see it and use the opportunity.
- Automation does not necessarily mean losing a job. Transformation of an environment is needed. This time can be different: steam engine led to mass production, soaked employment in agriculture: there is nothing we can go through this transformation.
- Changes in society: moving target. By the time we reach the target, it will change. Everything is speeding up. Government needs to support the changes. It is challenging because parties heavily focus on elections and people may not support these changes. Big parties can lose their voters, so it is risky for them