Changes to the Future of Employment and Workforces in the UK

According to a report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), multi-generational working will become more and more common as people delay retiring until they are in their 70’s and 80’s. With the number of economically active people aged 65+ being expected to rise by a third by 2030. This intermingling of generations could lead to new sources of social strife; with younger employees becoming stuck within their low level job due to older staff remaining in their senior positions for longer. Other problems which could arise from this could be caused by differing mindsets and communication styles due to being born and trained within different eras. Frictions could be caused by new technology and work patterns; ‘Baby Boomers’, born between 1946 and 1964, are competitive and think that workers should pay their dues, ‘Gen Xers’, born between 1965 and 1977 are more likely to be sceptical and independent minded, whereas ‘Millennials’, those born after 1978, like teamwork, feedback and technology. Therefore, managers are going to need to take these different styles of working on board and ensure to address different style and try to take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation without following stereotypes or disadvantaging older workers.

It has also predicted that the role of women in the workplace will strengthen through being able to take a more prominent role within more senior teams of companies, accounting for two thirds of growth in highly skilled jobs. The latest Government report on gender in boardrooms found women now hold a fifth, or 20.7%, of board positions; up from 17.3% in April 2013 and 12.5% in 2011. But, with greater diversity comes an increased inequality and a jobs market where companies rely more on project workers – a highly skilled minority with strong creative, analytical or communication skills will be rewarded with larger incomes and better life-work balance whilst full time employees may experience increasing job and income insecurity.

The study also suggests that computer algorithms are set to replace professionals within areas including accountancy and legal work. It is estimated that approximately 80% of PPC professionals will be replaced by algorithms; the employees that are able to avoid replacement will be the few who already provide high value or find ways to increase their value to clients. Although, this presents good news for programmers, software developers, data security experts, web designers and web development professionals as their skills will become crucial in ensuring that businesses are maintained and developed. Due to the increase of technology in the workplace, older generations will need to embrace it in order to compete within the job market.

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