Employability and labor market changes driven by technological change during Covid 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of technological change in the labor market, which has had a significant impact on employability. According to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the labor market, including changes driven by technological change. Here are a few key figures and examples:

  1. Increased demand for digital skills: According to the CIPD survey, 54% of organizations reported an increase in demand for digital skills since the start of the pandemic. This has led to an increased emphasis on digital upskilling and reskilling, as well as a need for workers who are able to adapt to changing work environments. For example, companies such as Amazon and Tesco have hired thousands of workers to meet the increased demand for online shopping and delivery services.
  2. Shift in the nature of work: The CIPD survey found that 37% of organizations had increased their use of technology to manage and monitor remote workers. This has led to a greater emphasis on tasks that require human skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. For example, some healthcare organizations have used telemedicine to provide remote consultations and support for patients, requiring healthcare workers to develop new communication and technical skills.
  3. Changing industries: According to the CIPD survey, the hospitality and retail sectors have been the most affected by the pandemic, with many businesses forced to close or reduce operations. In contrast, industries such as healthcare and logistics have experienced an increase in demand, leading to a shift in the types of jobs that are available. For example, delivery companies such as UPS and DHL have seen an increase in demand for their services, leading to an increase in job opportunities for drivers and logistics workers.
  4. Need for reskilling and upskilling: According to the CIPD survey, 53% of organizations have increased investment in training and development since the start of the pandemic. This has created opportunities for workers to reskill and upskill in order to remain employable. For example, some companies have provided training programs to help employees develop digital skills, such as data analysis and online communication.

Overall, the CIPD survey highlights the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the labor market, including changes driven by technological change. The shift towards remote work, increased use of digital tools, and changes in demand for different types of jobs have all affected employability. However, the emphasis on reskilling and upskilling presents opportunities for workers to adapt to the changing labor market and develop new skills that are in demand.

Impact areaImpact (Reason)
Impact on employmentThe damage from Covid 19 in labour market remains unclear; However, research suggests that workers without a University qualification are now 27-37%, less likely to be in work 3 years from now! This creates a high risk of unemployment for those workers who lost their jobs during Covid 19;
Skills mismatchThe UK has one of the highest skills mismatches in the OECD, with 40% of workers in jobs which they were either underqualified or overqualified before Covid 19;
Impact on remote workDuring Covid 19, firms still trading had about 50% of their staff working remotely in UK;
Technological changeIn these firms, the speed of technology and digital adoption increased for customers by about 5 years in 8 weeks!

(CBI/Mckinsey, 2020)

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