Czech Labor Ministry: By 2030 over 90 percent of jobs will require digital skills

The nature of the workplace is changing and the government plans to invest in adult education to help people adapt.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 11.07.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 11.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Automation may affect 1.1 million jobs in Czechia by the end of the decade, with nearly half of all work tasks potentially being automated. People in the workforce will need at least basic digital skills to be able to hold over 90 percent of positions by 2030, according to a Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs report. The ministry is calling for increased adult education as a way of helping people adapt to the changing job landscape.

The ministry examined the anticipated effects of demographic shifts and technological advancements on the labor market during this decade. The report was specifically drafted for a Tripartite meeting, which convenes government officials, trade unions, and business representatives.

The demographic aspects are well-known. According to the ministry, the labor market will have to cope with an aging population as well as the "underutilization of the potential" of parents of young children or older workers.

Technology will transform the workplace

The report also says the number, content, and shape of jobs will change significantly. Digitalization and robotization, teleworking, fluidity of activities, and generational differences in access to work will contribute to this.

“The latest available studies of the Czech labor market estimate that technological changes will fundamentally affect the supply and demand for work already this decade,” the report said, citing a study by consultancy McKinsey estimating that up to 52 percent of existing work tasks can be automated using technologies that already exist. A Deloitte study reached almost the same conclusion, estimating that 51 percent of jobs could be automated.

“Even in the case of a scenario where we introduce technology at a medium pace, the equivalent of 1.1 million jobs will be automated by 2030,” the ministry stated.

A survey by ManpowerGroup found that 49 percent of the companies in Czechia report a lack of workers with the necessary skills to handle the changing nature of the available jobs.

“Generally speaking, in the course of a few years, 20 to 50 percent of jobs on the Czech labor market will change, some of them will disappear, and the volume of newly created ones will depend primarily on the adaptability of the workforce,” the ministry said.

The changes will take place gradually, and in addition to the potential of workers, they will depend on investments by companies and the state in development, the ability to attract qualified workers to the Czech Republic from all over the world, further technological development, but also on the development of policies within the EU, according to the ministry.

“If the state, companies, and employees do not actively adapt to these changes, the Czech economy is threatened with a loss of competitiveness, an increase in unemployment, and a slowdown in GDP growth,” the ministry said.

Routine and repetitive work will change first

Manual routine work will transform first, followed by repetitive and predictable knowledge-based activities; routine work will be replaced by robotics or digitalization because of its predictability.

“Where there is a need for common sense, situational adaptation, persuasive skills, critical and human contact, it will be slower, and sometimes it won't happen at all (typically in services and human work). More simply put, non-routine knowledge activities are the hardest to automate,” the ministry said.

By 2030, over 90 percent of positions will require at least basic digital skills, up from the current 54 percent. This means 2.2 million workers will have to learn these skills which range from basic computer literacy to a very specialized type of digital skills, all complemented by soft skills.

“Partial knowledge is losing importance, and instead complex skills are gaining importance, especially the so-called 21st-century skills, along with computational thinking. Sometimes these are also referred to as soft skills, which are skills aimed at developing creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication with people and machines, presentation, project management, and problem-solving,” the ministry said.

Czechia lags behind in adult education

To solve the problem, the ministry is calling for an immediate and structural change in the approach to continuing education for the workforce. Czechia ranks among the countries with the lowest percentage of the adult population in continuous long-term education. In 2021, only 5.8 percent of adults were in regular monthly education. The EU average is 10.8 percent, with the Swedes, Finns, and Dutch leading the ranking with around 25-35 percent of adults in regular monthly education.

In the next three years, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs plans to use up to CZK 6.5 billion for further education to help people adapt to the changing workplace. At least 130,000 people will have the opportunity to retrain or expand their skills – from basic digital skills to the most specialized ones.

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