Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 07:08:15 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Invest in digital skills

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Iarla Flynn :
When the printing press, electric light and railways were invented, they brought huge change - and disrupted calligraphy, oil lamps and horse-drawn coaches. All these things still exist - but we use them because we want to, not because we need to. In the same way, another wave of digital technologies - like artificial intelligence and robotics - are starting to change the way we live and work.
We are on the brink of a new era of automation, where machines may be able to perform not just mechanical processes, like weaving or moulding plastic, but a broader range of more complex tasks. You could say that technology is about to start jumping from the factory floor to the office.
At Google we are technology optimists. We see a future where thoughtful integration of technology like machine learning into the workplace can help people do a better job. Just as spreadsheets replaced calculators, not accountants, so too can machine learning be a tool that helps people to do their jobs better. Just imagine, nurses and doctors with smart diagnostic aids who have more time for patient conversations, or customer service staff who now have the expertise at their fingertips to solve problems.
But we also recognise that technology is not destiny. At Google, we're inventing new things all the time, because it's in our DNA. But we also need to be mindful about the fact that not everyone always welcomes the change this brings about. So when and how these new technologies will be used across Europe is a conversation that should involve government, trade unions, educators, and businesses. And at this early stage, there are more questions than answers.
This month we took a step forward with the publication of new research from McKinsey that looks at the potential impact of automation in nine "digital frontrunner" countries in Northern Europe, including the Nordics and Benelux. McKinsey drills down into the impact of earlier generations of digital to highlight that historically technology has been a major boost to productivity and a net creator of jobs.
For the impact of emerging technologies in the future, they find that some jobs will be displaced, and more tasks within jobs will change. Yet overall they expect a similar positive outcome, with jobs and economic growth boosted. Jobs in digital are expected to double and increased investment from greater productivity gains should deliver an even greater jobs dividend across sectors. Yet this growth won't happen automatically. Urgent action is needed. If countries fail to ensure people have the right skills for this digital era, that growth won't occur. So governments and industry must be honest with workers, and prepare young people for the jobs of the future. Re-skilling is critical.
Ultimately, the impact of these changes will depend on how fast companies adopt new technologies, and how quickly people can acquire the skills needed for new, or different, jobs. This provides a huge opportunity, but also some serious challenges. Northern European countries start from a stronger position than most, as they are near the top in Europe on digital adoption. They have strong innovation ecosystems and robust social models to help transition workers to new jobs.  But this will only happen if this transition is managed properly and done quickly.
At Google, we believe we have a role to play here. We have trained over 3 million Europeans in digital skills through tailored programs delivered with national partners. For example, in Sweden we are working with the public employment agency to ensure people looking for jobs are trained in digital skills as they transition to a next job. And in the Netherlands we worked with local partner Qredits to create 'Digitale Werkplaats', so far training 52,000 people. Many of those who took the training courses, are seeing a real impact and starting and growing their own online businesses- across Europe, over 30,000 SMBs have hired new employees after completing our training.
Still, with rapid change comes anxiety. Incumbents resist change. This is not new and in fact we have seen it throughout every stage of history. In 1876, the President of Western Union declared that the telephone had too many shortcomings to ever be seriously considered as a means of communication. And when Henry Ford rolled out the Model T in 1908, the automobile was dismissed as a fad - while the horse was here to stay.
Yet anxiety can't be an excuse for not having the debate. So it's important to have the discussion about technology, automation and the future of work. Companies, governments and civil society need to anticipate the coming changes, which means preparing people for new jobs, skills and technologies. There's only one chance for European countries to face up to this technological revolution: it's imperative that we all work together to get it right.

(Iarla Flynn is Public Policy Director for Google Northern Europe).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

HC verdict is well meaning: Hospitals must appreciate

THE High Court ordered hospitals and clinics not to hold body of a deceased if his or her family fails to immediately pay the medical bill to release the body. It has also asked the Health Secretary and the Director General of the Directorate of Health Services to issue a ...

International »

Putin, Assad for political solution to Syria`s conflict

Reuters, Moscow  :Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to talk about the need to move from military operations to the search for a political solution to Syria's conflict, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.Russia is actively trying to build an international consensus around a peace deal for Syria, ...

Sports »

A scene from the opening ceremony of the Omicon Group 43rd National A Chess Championship held at Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room on Tuesday.

Sports »

Sharapova named in India luxury housing fraud probe

AFP, New Delhi :Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova is under investigation in India for cheating and criminal conspiracy after the collapse of a luxury housing project that she endorsed, police and a lawyer said Tuesday.The firm behind the development is alleged to have taken millions of dollars from homebuyers ...

Entertainment »

Janhvi dazzles at IFFI in ethnic wear

Janhvi Kapoor who is all set mark her Bollywood debut with Karan Johar’s Dhadak opposite Ishaan Khatter makes a dazzling entry at 48th IFFI 2017 in Goa. Janhvi was accompanied by her mother Sridevi and father Boney Kapoor. Janhvi looked elegant wearing Anamika Khanna lehenga choli. It is probably Janhvi’s ...

City »

Uphold image of Armed Forces: President

President M Abdul Hamid on Tuesday asked the members of Armed Forces to uphold their image at national and international levels by ensuing utmost professionalism. "Uphold the image of the armed forces . . . Help continue the country's ongoing development trend in the days to come," President's Press Secretary ...

Editorial »

Use of toxic tannery wastes in poultry feed

MEDIA reports said an increasing number of poultry feed mills using dangerously toxic tannery wastes laced with poisonous chemicals as raw materials remain the biggest threat to public health. They are moreover flouting is a ban of the High Court for producing and marketing the toxic feed for animals which ...

International »

Putin plan to rejuvenate Russian politics makes slow progress

Reuters, Moscow :Poised to run for a fourth term, President Vladimir Putin has started clearing out the old Russian political elite and says he's bringing in young people with "fire in their eyes."But a Reuters analysis shows that he has made limited progress so far.In the run up to March ...

Sports »

Participants run during the Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi, India on Sunday. Ethiopia's Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana won the men's and women's elite categories, respectively.

Entertainment »

Bollywood congratulates Manushi Chillar on winning Miss World crown

After a wait of 17 long years, Indian model Manushi Chhillar has won the Miss World crown. Since yesterday’s announcement, many Bollywood celebs and public figures have congratulated her on winning the prestigious event. Here are some endearing messages from Bollywood celebs: The Megastar of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan congratulated Manushi ...

Entertainment »

Runa Khan coming with her first movie

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Most of her colleagues always appreciate the acting of Runa Khan. There is no other alternative or choice of her in TV plays. So she has acceptability among the directors. Viewers also like her acting. Runa will entertain the viewers by virtue of her acting skill with ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia cutting cake marking birthday of BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman at her Gulshan office in the city on the early hours of Monday.

National »

GAFFARGAON: Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of Muktijodha Sanghati Parishad Major (Retd.) Md Rezaul Karim, a veteran freedom fighter and an Awami League leader addressing a meeting on his participation in the coming National Election as a candidate from Awami League in the election area Mymensingh-10 (Gaffargaon & Pagla PS) Primary School field, Gaffargaon on Friday. Among others, freedom fighter Mofazzal Hossain, Auditor (retd.) Alhaj Abdul Karim and Ex Ward Member Saiful Islam also spoke in the meeting at Charalgi (Nidiar Char) .

Editorial »

Higher production capacity for power plants

THE state-owned power plants can't generate electricity to a minimum of their stated capacity as they lack improved technology, besides management failure to achieve the highest output as per a report in The New Nation on Sunday. The report quoting Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) said its power plants can ...

International »

Hariri announces return to Lebanon as crisis simmers

AP, Paris :Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he will return home in the coming days from where he will declare a political stance for the first time since making a strange resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia that unleashed fears of a crisis in Lebanon.Hariri and his family met Saturday ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news