The future of work has been a key theme in Davos this week (didn’t get my invite!). Futurology fans were also blessed with the launch of a high-profile report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) highlighting a range of labour market challenges facing policy makers and business leaders around the world. The findings from the ILO Global Commission on Future of Work touches on a number of areas covered in the REC’s own Future of Jobs Commission, and priority areas being taken forward on the global stage by the World Employment Confederation (WEC).
The ILO’s Commission was co-chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and included industry representation through Adecco CEO Alain Dehaze. So what global future of work priorities did the ILO commission identify and what were some of the core messages of most relevance to the recruitment & employment sector? Here’s my take:
- Protecting fundamental workers’ rights and improving the quality of working lives – Effective enforcement is a priority in most countries; this is not only in the interests of workers, it also in the interests of compliant businesses. The REC and WEC will continue to promote the role that representative bodies can play in driving compliance within the recruitment sector and promoting well-managed recruitment supply chains.
- Helping young people and promoting career transitions – The ILO report concludes that ‘young people will need help in navigating the increasingly difficult school-to-work transition’. We’re on it! Harnessing the expertise of recruitment professionals to help better bridges between education and work is at the heart of the REC’s Future of Jobs Ambassadors initiative. A conclusion of our own Future of Jobs Commission was that recruiters can also play a pivotal role in facilitating career transition which the ILO report identifies as a further priority.
- Preempting future skills needs – Technology will drive new skills needs and investments in the care, green and rural economies will also drive job creation globally. This will create new opportunities for forward-thinking recruitment businesses. Seizing these new opportunities was a core theme of our Recruitment 2025 White Paper.
- Driving inclusion and innovation – In launching the report, Stefan Löfven argued that: “Governments, trade unions and employers need to work together, to make economies and labour markets more inclusive and work for everyone.” Both REC and WEC campaigning activities will continue to promote the role that the recruitment and employment sector can play in driving social innovation and inclusion.
- Managing AI & automation – As well as the impact on jobs and skills needs, the ILO Commission identifies the need for a policy response to digital labour platforms. The importance of mapping out the variety of online talent platforms before creating one-size-fits-all regulatory instruments was a key part of WEC’s response.
The ILO reports focus on ‘human-centered agenda’ fits with the conclusion our own Future of Jobs Commission that recruitment and employment professionals would continue to have a key role to play within the evolving social and business landscape of the 4thIndustrial Revolution. We will continue to facilitate and showcase this pivotal role on both the national and global stage.
We might even get invited to Davos next year!