Our edition yesterday featured two pieces of news that, each in its own way, serves to highlight the challenges facing Chile in terms of job training in a context of accelerated technological change.
On the one hand, the government gave the go to the Ministerial Advisory Commission for Labor Prospecting, an advisory body that, in the words of the Minister of Labor, seeks to “generate valuable information to detect current and future gaps between supply and supply. demand for occupations and skills “. On the other hand, yesterday we also reported on a dispute between the Walmart union and the company, precisely because the company’s digital transformation – and its new focus on “multifunctionality” – means eliminating positions with a single function and training employees. to perform various roles (something that, in other experiences, may lead to a reduction in staff).
The way the multinational is tackling this problem may or may not be the most appropriate, but the truth is that its challenge is similar to that of many other large companies, and will soon be for organizations of all sizes as well. In both diagnoses, both the OECD and the National Productivity Commission have observed that it is necessary to find ways to identify and adapt the skills of workers according to the requirements of a labor market that is changing profoundly and rapidly, in essence, under the impulse of new technologies in a wide range of productive sectors.
This implies degrees of economic disruption that will impact unskilled workers first and strongest, for example, many of those who work in supermarkets or dispatch services, among others. There is a real risk that a growing part of the workforce, over a period of years and not decades, will end up being “redundant” in terms of its contribution to the generation of value.
An electoral campaign with a sense of the future would reveal the magnitude of the training and reconversion effort that Chilean workers will have to make in this fourth industrial revolution, as well as the ways in which the State and society must prepare for it.