The European project Jobs for Work 4.0 – The Future of Employment, coordinated by the University of Minho, is one of the current strategic partnership projects carried out by EEUM's researchers, in cooperation with entities from 6 other European countries.
The team of researchers aims at analysing the impact of digital transformation in the labour market in approximately 10 years. The idea is to gather projections on technological evolution as well as information on the impact technologies will have in the world of work. Furthermore, the team hopes to propose guidelines for people working not only in the labour market service but also in vocational orientation and education about the aforementioned challenges, so they can draft training modules to promote future employability of individuals, preparing them for the labour market needs of the near future.
"Everyone is aware that the labour market will be subjected to profound changes, but no one knows which specific changes will happen", Isabel Ramos, project coordinator at UMinho, refers. "The future will be demanding more and more people trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, due to the technological complexity our future society will face, but also due to problems affecting humanity, such as environmental issues, global conflict or resource management", the researcher adds. Notwithstanding, the consortium recognises that work digitisation will inevitably lead to jobs becoming obsolete or to transformation of existing professions and activities, as well as to the creation of new ones. It is thus necessary to prepare market players for this impact. The project focuses on the need to create skills which are more resilient to employment transformation, namely those related to human skills such as creativity, social skills, leadership, among others.
During the first project phase, partners have gathered data on the awareness level on the impacts of digital transformation in jobs in each of the consortium countries. The University of Minho's research team is in charge of the second phase, which will be completed by the end of 2017. The researchers are preparing a manual with training guidelines, entitled "Work 4.0 – Awareness Raising Guidelines". The document includes an overview of the current situation as far as labour market trends are concerned and also specific guidelines for vocational orientation and education. Subsequently, the consortium will create a resource pack, offering a profile proposal and training strategies which can be used to implement the indications resulting from the guideline manual.
"We want to inspire market agents to develop their own educational offer based on the materials we produced", Isabel Ramos referred. During the last phase of the project, the team will adapt and modify selected online platform materials into integrated applications for smartphones. These will aim at granting access to the information content developed across the project duration and also to facilitate communication between labour market players, promoting the exchange of experiences and good practices. The project results will also be available for consultation and so each work market player will be able to design their own educational offer.
In Portugal, the project already counted on the collaboration of IEFP - Employment and Professional Training Institute, ACT - Authority for Work Conditions and ATP - Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal. These entities have shown their interest in cooperating with the consortium members in executing the project. The team aims to further involve other professional associations and other entities working in vocational training.
Starting in November 2016, the project is expected to run until October 2018. The consortium is coordinated by the University of Minho - the only higher education institution in the group, and counts on 6 other partners from Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ireland, all entities with activities related to employment and professional training.
+ info: http://work40.dsi.uminho.pt/