The future of work and the Davos World Economic Forum briefing: working and training in the age of Artificial Intelligence

The 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, concluded last week and brought to light a number of future of work related issues:

  • The 4th Industrial Revolution heralds a period of profound transformation in the world of work.
  • The penny has dropped worldwide that governments, business and their advisers must think strategically and act creatively to seize the opportunities and equip their people to thrive in changing times.
  • Global leaders increasingly recognise that work-related laws, education systems (including in-work training) and social safety-nets must be modernised and in some cases seriously re-imagined.

UK Prime Minister Teresa May, addressing the World Economic Forum, commented that, “Already technology is changing the nature of our workplaces …so we need to make sure that our employment law keeps pace with the way that technology is shaping modern working practices …“.

Mrs May also flagged to delegates her intention to deliver on the UK Review of Modern Working Practices conducted by Matthew Taylor last year.  As well as advocating new work-place laws and tax reforms, Taylor called on government, employers and training providers to develop a consistent approach to employability skills and lifelong learning, potentially leading to lifetime digital learning records and the use of forms of digital accreditation badges in the gig economy.

We predict that these deep trends will present opportunities for training providers to innovate and for businesses to act strategically by:

  • helping existing workers to upskill and reskill where necessary; and
  • working alongside educators to equip the next generation of workers with the skills of the future.

Businesses will undoubtedly benefit substantially from new technologies in the workplace, but with great opportunity comes risk and the law in relation to the future of work is constantly evolving.

Businesses will need to monitor legal changes over the next few years, and make sure that governments hear their views. Osborne Clarke’s experts are recognised thought leaders in relation to the future of work – read our report on the major trends [PDF].  We are helping businesses implement legally compliant and commercially sensible measures now to support their workforces and businesses of tomorrow.

For more information please contact Greg Chambers.

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