In collaboration with Zurich Insurance, we met with Members of Parliament at a seminar on responsible automation hosted by Justin Madders.
The aim of the session was to show the benefits of working in partnership between employer and union and how automation, if done responsibly could be of benefit to both employer and worker.
The session was a great success and showcased how Zurich has been implementing its upskilling programme and introducing automation to reduce time heavy data inputting for employees and freeing up their time for the more human elements of their roles.
At Community, we believe that if automation is done correctly and in partnership with workers, we can train and upskill people for the future. We recognise the opportunities of using technology to make work better for all of us. However, we cannot passively let tech giants and employers shape the future of work on their own. We must make sure that all workers have a voice and the benefits of automation are shared so that nobody is left behind.
You can find out more about our work around technology in the workplace here.
Having principled foundations where people are at the heart of the business intentions will surely show automation can be a beneficial tool no matter what stage of life or career we are at. For this to happen, automation must be seen as an opportunity to grow and expand and not be used solely to save money and cut roles and people. That’s why we need everyone: workers, employers, government and unions to make this change work.
The session was an opportunity to showcase the fantastic opportunities that could be utilized if there was a change in the use of the Apprentice Levy. We want to see the Apprentice Levy reformed to support wider forms of training and to ask employers to monitor the skills of their workforce, create plans for reskilling and redeployment of existing workers. If the Levy could be used for forward thinking and emerging careers, then employers could continue to train workers despite training budgets being cut. This is particularly important as so many organisations have a significant Apprentice Levy pot which they are not able to use.
If we all, as unions, employers and government sit round the table, we can find a way forwards – a path that doesn’t lead to huge job losses and instead leads to new career paths and opportunity.