People, machines, robots and skills

Technological unemployment is a recurring theme, but joblessness in the digital age will depend on human, not artificial, intelligence. With forecasts that nearly half of jobs in advanced economies may be automated out of existence, excitement at the prospects of what the World Economic Forum says is a Fourth Industrial Revolution is tempered by worries that people will either lose their jobs to robots and machines, or be unable to find suitable work in the new digital age.

Change is certainly happening. Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) found that across the 28 European Union (EU) Member States, 43% of adult employees have seen the technologies they use change in the past five years, making some people’s jobs vulnerable to automation; 47% have seen changes in working methods or practices.

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