OECD Forum Virtual Event: Shaping the Future of Work

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As part of an OECD Forum series, our virtual event Shaping the Future of Work, took place on 9 July 2020. Please note this event has now ended and registration is closed, but you can rewatch the session below and continue the conversation in our dedicated Forum Network room!

OECD Forum Virtual Event: Shaping the Future of Work -- this event has now ended and registration is closed, but you can continue the conversation in our dedicated Forum Network room!
Please note this event has now ended and registration is closed.

On 7 July the OECD launched the 2020 edition of the Employment Outlook, the OECD’s annual report on jobs and employment in OECD countries. Each edition reviews recent trends, policy developments, and prospects. The 2020 edition looks at the impact of COVID-19 on (un)employment in OECD countries.

Find out more about the OECD Employment Outlook 2020 or read the full report

Find out more about the OECD Employment Outlook 2020

Our virtual discussion Shaping the Future of Work took place on 9 July 2020, with key stakeholders focusing on the fact that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment is expected to increase further. This highlights the importance of not only government but also business and unions doing everything they can to keep people employed, in particular the people and sectors of the economy most impacted.

We also discussed the difficult situation faced by SMEs, and the urgency to focus on skills in order to help people transition into sectors of the economy that are performing better. Panellists explored the impact of the pandemic on employment, with a special focus on vulnerable groups such as women, youth, older and non-standard workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated a number of trends that were already reshaping the world of work. There is a concern that not all workers and firms are equally well equipped to work remotely, and that this will negatively affect those who do not have the skills to work in a digital workplace. In addition, measures taken to limit the spread of the virus might have created a momentum for firms to invest in automation. In this context, reskilling is more essential than ever to ensure that workers from the hardest hit sectors can transition to other jobs or sectors. 

As economies re-open and activity picks up, policies are needed to tackle the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and help prepare the labour market to better weather future crises. In order to “build back better”, all parts of societies need to contribute to these efforts with a sense of responsibility, in particular from those who receive public support. For firms – especially the ones receiving public support – this means investing in training, and hiring or re-hiring workers. For individuals, it means taking active steps to search for work or improve their employability. We are all in this together and everyone has to play their part: government, firms and social partners must all work together to minimise job losses, tackle precariousness and build resilient societies.

Please note this event has now ended and registration is closed, but you can rewatch the session below and continue the conversation in our dedicated Forum Network room!

Related Topics

Tackling COVID-19 Future of Work Future of Education & Skills Entrepreneurship Digital Inclusion

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Willemien Bax

Head, OECD Forum, OECD

Willemien Bax is currently Head of the OECD Forum, the Organisation's largest annual public event. Ms Bax, a Dutch national, has over 20 years of experience in public affairs, working with governments, as well as non-governmental organisations and the private sector. Prior to joining the OECD, from 2001 to beginning 2010, Ms Bax worked with the European Consumers Organisation (BEUC) as Deputy Director-General where she oversaw BEUC’s public affairs and media relations strategies in a number of public policy areas ranging from transparency and governance to food, environment, health, economic and legal affairs. In 2004, she initiated a training programme financed by the European Commission, for all consumer organisations in the EU, as well as potential EU-candidate countries. The training focused on giving consumer organisations the tools to develop effective public affairs and communication strategies. In 2009, in her capacity as European Chair of the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, she contributed to debates on major international public policy issues such as financial regulation, innovation and energy efficiency.

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