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Community responds on the latest in automation at work

18th September 2019

“We have the potential to shift skills gaps across the country by engaging workers…”

Commenting on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee report, Roy Rickhuss CBE, General Secretary of Community, said:

“We welcome the report and are pleased the conclusions are consistent with the emerging findings of Community and the Fabian Society’s Commission on Workers and Technology.

“It’s clear from our Commission that workers want to be aware of technological changes in the workplace and want to work with employers to manage the transition. However, we also know that workers are not ready for those changes, are not up-skilling and do not consider the jobs they do to be at risk.

“It’s time for Government to step up and lead the way in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Whether that’s ensuring people can develop their skills to adapt, supporting businesses and encouraging innovation, the scale of the challenge is vast.

“The trade union movement has a huge role to play in re-skilling workers at risk of automation, including the self-employed and the unemployed, and we must be at the forefront of that. Through Unionlearn, we have the potential to shift skills gaps across the country by engaging workers. That requires support and a commitment from Government to invest in skills and training to support those workers.

“By working in partnership with trade unions and employers, Government can ensure everyone reaps the benefits and opportunities that come with technological change. Crucial to this will be ensuring workers are equipped to benefit from technology change and automation.”

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the administration, expenditure and policy of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and its associated public bodies. You can read their latest report here.

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