In previous posts, I have briefly talked about the effect of Artificial Intelligence on jobs. I now what to look at work itself.
As we all know that there are thousands of different jobs and different businesses. But, I wonder how much we think about the issue of how ethical is each job and whether there are there too many businesses, as a good number do go bust, and others get so big, that they become impersonal.
So, we need a discussion of what sort of jobs we will need in the future, especially when it comes to unskilled and semi skilled work. For example, will we need refuse collectors, when it is likely the whole process from collection to sorting to reusing rubbish will be done by machines? How are we going to tap into those skills?
What about jobs that we do not need? For example, arms salespeople who promote death and destruction, and striptease artists, who denigrate the individuals involved as well as the punters. There may also be too many businesses focusing on one area like there is in the fashion world?
We need to think ‘outside the box’ in the following areas –
- how can we shorten the supply chains to reduce the impact on the environment?
- can we come up with new environmentally friendly ways of transporting products?
- how can we identify where all our products come from and whether they are ethically sourced
- are the all workers in the supply chains paid a real living age, work in safe and healthy environments and are valued at all levels of the supply chains?
- is the job, product or service really necessary, does it add any value to one’s life?
- can we come up with new ways of recycling all products, especially those in the plastics industry?
- are there new ways of providing renewable energy which avoids the need for electricity or gas?
- how can we create jobs that are interesting, fulfilling and cater to all levels of skills?
- can we design more effective ways of educating and train people from infants to adults that makes sure everyone has literacy, numeracy and IT skills?
- do we need to seek ways of encouraging businesses to move out of London and the South-east to the rest of the country so as to reduce dependence on any given area?
- how can we make sure that there are several different key industries in every city and town, so if one goes bankrupt, the whole community is less affected than if there was only one major employer
I believe that all businesses should operate at a number of levels –
- all should be a social franchise, where all the workers are owners along with the local community, so businesses do not become so big as to dominate each sector but at the same time seek to work together;
- where there are a number of similar businesses, like fashion stores, they should form an ‘alliance’ so that they share premises and work collaboratively to keep costs down and offer customers more choice;
- governments to encourage everyone to continuously learn new skills through practical on the job training as well as theory, especially those who are manual and semi-skilled workers through generous grants from the Government as well as businesses, particular in the new and upcoming sectors, so employees can move from one set of skills to another to keep themselves in work;
- each social enterprise to learn to recognise the signs as to when they need to adapt to the changing market and world, and to make sure people do not lose their jobs;
- all jobs should involve all the talents a worker has to its highest level, through attitude training, making sure the job has variety, good working conditions, little bureaucracy, is based on relational thinking, excellent customer service and high quality products and/or services – that means more intense recruiting process and inductions – we need new ways to carry this out;
- seriously think about what jobs need humans and which do not – I would suggest that there are current jobs which need customer facing staff, for example in transport, banking and government – to develop loyalty;
- make sure that most staff can speak one or more languages other than English so they can work with partners throughout the world – this is essential in particular in the tourism and manufacturing sectors;
- tax all internet providers who sell goods and services (except charities) in each country they serve so as to encourage a level playing field with regards to physical shops and services, and to help provide funding for government services for communities;
- all businesses to be transparent in their dealings both internally and externally – there needs to be a register of all businesses particularly in the area of beneficial ownership and tax paid in relation to earnings;
- tax havens are abolished throughout the world;
So, please start thinking about, in particular, what types of jobs we really need that are useful to society at large and take care of the workers. I look forward to hearing from people with ideas to develop the above.