The greater use of artificial intelligence and robotics is set to dramatically alter the kinds of jobs available in Wales within the next 20 years.
The Future of Work in Wales report suggests that new technology may improve productivity and release workers from repetitive or hazardous tasks but could also see large numbers of existing jobs disappear and change employment practices in ways that disadvantage unskilled workers. The report argues that support should be offered to Welsh workers to help them develop skills that are difficult to automate, such as creativity and critical thinking, which will be in demand in the digital economy of the future.
Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Wales Centre for Public Policy, said: “Our report finds that artificial intelligence could transform the world of work in Wales.
“A lot has been written about global trends, but we need to build a better understanding of how advances in technology will affect the Welsh economy so we can prepare for a future where some jobs may be very different to today.
“Workers here need to be equipped with the skills to adapt to these changes, and this has important implications for what schools teach, for careers advice, lifelong learning, in-work training and retraining.”
The report was launched on 1st November, at an event sponsored by the First Minister of Wales, The Right Honourable Carwyn Jones AM. Expert speakers included: Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and author of ‘Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ commissioned by the Prime Minister, who talked about the RSA’s programme on Future Work; and Stijn Broecke, Senior Economist in Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), who talked about the OECD’s programme of research into the future of work.