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Date : Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Future of Employment: Assessing the Impact of Digitalisation on Work

Employment and Social policy
Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019 09:15 - 18:30

Venue: Central Brussels

Digitalisation and robotics are drastically reshaping work. Development in ICT, artificial intelligence and robotics will generate new conditions for employment and have unpredictable impact on job creation and destruction. Although such technological evolution is not new, the risk resides in the fact that, as for previous industrial revolutions, economic contraction usually follows. The rapid rise of the on-demand economy, not yet included in official statistics, and the spread of platforms is a concrete impact of this revolution (CEPS & European Economic and Social Committee, 2017).

In May 2018, the European Commission assembled an expert group to analyse the impact of the digital transformation and identify “potential social risks”. They will issue a report in 2019 offering policy recommendations. Additionally, the Digital Transformation Monitor examines key trends and transitional progress made at national and sector-specific level while the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is the indicator used to assess digital performances in the EU in term of competitiveness. These tools reveal major disparities between Member States. The EU regards, however, digitalisation as an opportunity for economic growth and development. In order to avoid a polarisation in labour markets based on peoples’ skills, the Commission wants to focus on technological education and training. These initiatives are taken under the leadership of the Digital Single Market which remains the cornerstone of policies aiming at completing full digitalisation while creating jobs and transforming public services.

Despite debates fuelled by specific cases namely Uber, discussions about the impact of digitalisation on industry have received little attention in many Member States. The lack of data reinforces the unforeseeable nature of digitalisation. So far, data remain limited and divergent on the matter. Furthermore, labour conditions, social security and taxations will also be impacted. These elements will be redefined and therefore need to be preventively addressed.

While most of the effects of digitalisation are unforeseeable, a rise in productivity which would lead to job reductions, at least for a time, is likely. On the other hand, many opportunities will arise for enterprises, employees and the society as a whole. This symposium will address practical and theoretical issues to ensure economic growth in the age of digitalisation. Delegates will have the opportunity to exchange views on the future of workers’ conditions and the necessity to develop digital skills. Furthermore, innovative solutions to prevent negative effects and avoid unemployment will be presented and discussed.

Delegates will:

  • Discuss the scope of the current policy framework on digitalisation, its benefits and limits
  • Identify the latest measures to unlock the full potential of the digital advances while considering the human aspect
  • Explore ways to overcome the lack of data and present innovative ways to gather it
  • Consider the evolution of an on-demand economy and its repercussions on the labour market
  • Examine the need digital education, training and new management techniques  
  • Engage in a debate about solutions to avoid alienation and secure decent working conditions


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks

Considering the Impact of Digitalisation on the Labour Market: Impact, Challenges and Solutions at EU and National Level 

  • Evaluating the “Automatability Risk” in the EU: Collecting relevant data and establishing at-risk-industries
  • Countering Uncertainty: Assessing the relationship between the Digital Single Market and the Digital Revolution
  • Political Necessities: Implementing robust regulations to facilitate adaptation and flexibility 
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11.10 Morning Coffee Break

Overcoming the Lack of Expertise: Preparing the Society and Empowering People through Digital Education  

  • Fostering Life-Long Learning: Encouraging companies to stay relevant and pushing for states’ actions
  • Implementing Digital Skills Foresight Methods: Providing the means for the current work force to quickly adjust to digitalisation
  • Promoting Creativity and Social Skills: Capitalising on non-digital competences and alternative experiences   
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12.30 Networking Lunch

Considering the Future of the On-Demand Economy: Seizing Opportunities and Addressing Risks 

  • Optimizing the Relationship Between Supply and Demand: Satisfying consumers’ needs, estimating value and following regulations 
  • Considering Labour Conditions: Tackling the lack of social protection, preventing isolation and work-life imbalance
  • Reorganising the Working Environment: Developing new management methods and encouraging flexibility 
14.00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Taking Stock of the Societal Impact of Digitalisation: The Future of Human/Machine Relations

  • Evaluating the Level of Social Acceptance: A key factor affecting the potential effects of digitalisation      
  • Preventing Social Harm: Avoiding alienation and raising ethical questions
  • Innovative Responses: Exploring alternative solutions to protect the vulnerable 
15.20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16.00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16.30  Symposium Close

Who Should Attend?

  • Small Business Federations
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Social Funds
  • Local Authorities
  • Organisational Development Professionals
  • International and Regional Organisations
  • National Ministries and Institutes
  • Business Analysts
  • Joint Committees on Environment
  • Social Exclusion Officers
  • Confederations of Independent Unions
  • Local Area Trailblazers
  • Regional Development Specialists
  • Human Resources Department
  • Third Sector Organisations
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Education Charities and NGOs
  • Lifelong Learning Institutes and Practitioners
  • Equal Opportunities Officers
  • Employment Agencies
  • Career Advisers
  • Vocational Trainers
  • Youth Organisations
  • Social Funds
  • Recruitment Advisers
  • Research Institutes
  • Social Innovation Centres
  • Business Resilience Managers
  • Operational Risk Managers
  • Communications Officers
  • Policy Officers
  • Communications Advisors
  • Information Technology Specialists





All Dates

  • Thursday, 25 April 2019 09:15 - 18:30

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