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OECD Skills Outlook 2019

Thriving in a Digital World

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Economies and societies are undergoing digital transformations that bring both opportunities and challenges and countries’ preparedness to seize the benefits of a digital world is largely dependent on the skills of their population. This edition of the OECD Skills Outlook 2019 aims to understand how policies, and in particular those that affect skills development and use, can shape the outcomes of digital transformation and translate into more equally shared benefits among and within countries’ populations. Ensuring people can benefit from new technologies and are not left behind requires a comprehensive and co-ordinated policy effort. This package of co-ordinated policies needs to simultaneously promote digitalisation where the latter increases productivity and well-being, and otherwise cushion its negative impacts.

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A digital world of work: Transformations of occupations and the implications for skills needs

This chapter analyses how digitalisation modifies the skills needed and tasks performed by workers. Technology can replace workers in routine tasks that are easy to automate and complement workers in more cognitively demanding tasks that require creativity and problem solving. To investigate these links between digitalisation and workers’ skills and tasks, this chapter uses a new set of empirical analyses based on the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). To successfully navigate the transition to a digital world of work and thrive in it – workers need not only digital skills but also a broad mix of skills, including cognitive and socio-emotional skills. In technology-related occupations, advanced digital skills are necessary. The chapter also assesses the extent to which digital transformation may affect countries and occupations that are lagging behind.

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