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The Future of the Workforce

Critical drivers and challenges

In the report The Future of the Workforce: Critical drivers and challenges, Deloitte thought leaders examine these issues and offer policy considerations for meeting the challenges head on.

External factors – including demographic upheaval, globalisation, digital technology, and changing social values and worker expectations, are disrupting business models and radically changing the workplace. These are requiring both workers and businesses to adapt and change the way they work, and for governments to rethink approaches to socioeconomic policies.

The gig economy, robotics, and cognitive technologies are impacting education, skills, and career development. Understanding these impacts are crucial to ensuring countries can manage the risks and opportunities for inclusive economic growth, and avoid fuelling greater inequality within economies.

Government, business, and society need to work together to support a dynamic workforce that is able to constantly reskill and upskill. This means developing a skills infrastructure that broadens the base of skills and abilities. It means revisiting education and career models, and approaches to life-long learning and work, regardless of geography, and innovating public-private partnerships. In many markets, academic-type learning will also need to be married with opportunities to apply new knowledge and skills.

Policies that underpin the basic fundamentals of the workforce, such as regulation of the gig economy, need revising in a way that provides for inclusive growth and facilitates innovation and long-term unemployment solutions. As the gig economy strengthens, this means consideration of both the economic/business and societal elements. These include, but are not limited to, education, taxation, pensions, social protections, mobility, labour supply management, income, data flows, privacy, security, health care, consumer protection, and labour laws.

Inequality will remain a stubborn phenomenon even as technology advances society and helps grow economies. This suggests other long-term policy outcome considerations such as income guarantees, wealth distribution, and re-enabling social engagement (beyond tradition employment).


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