Trade unions are immensely important for representing the workers’ needs and demands in their current workplaces. Therefore, the unions’ perspective of the future changes of workplaces is vital in the ongoing discussion about how ‘good jobs’ can be preserved and strengthened in times in which digitisation, globalization and automation play an increasingly important role. One conclusion of the debate was that in order to be on top of technological changes, regular training and upskilling of the workforce is needed, especially training that matches the demand of future occupations.
Another significant question in the discussion was how to strike a new balance between flexibility and security in the workplace – a relevant topic particularly for the growing group of self-employed in the UK. Thorben Albrecht, Permanent State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, presented the policy ideas the German government has developed in its whitepaper “Work 4.0”.