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The future of labor

  • Milano
  • 27 February 2023

        Rapid change is a feature of the contemporary world that highlights a series of uncertainties and opportunities for labor and professional formation. Overcoming those uncertainties to then seize the opportunities calls for dynamism and resilience along with a keen awareness of how important, in any case, those efforts and eventual errors are. At the same time, it is more important than ever to embrace the value of relations capable of prompting and disseminating virtuous information and practices.

        With the evolutionary nature of professions generating the rapid obsolescence of knowledge and skills, the job market is going to increasingly appreciate the value of personal aptitude – i.e., “knowing how”. Yet, cultivating a determined and convincing personality is a uniquely individual obligation. It is the primary task of the student and professional, rather than of the external or political environment, to understand and succeed in forging skills, honing them, keeping them updated and being sensitive to the opportunities offered and necessities imposed by technological progress.

        Yet, other actors can also play a role in encouraging the new generation’s entry into the work force. Universities first and foremost, as the settings for the formation of persons as much as of professionals and for instilling lasting value. Then there is the role that companies can play in stimulating their employees’ continuing education. In this sense, in addition to broadening the range of business skills they offer, it must be the responsibility of managers to provide models of behavior, adaptability and resilience. The growing complexity of functions performed by employers then calls for revising both hiring criteria as well as hierarchies in such a way as to improve and facilitate interoperability. To that end, technology is playing a revolutionary role in modifying organizational and relational processes. Not to be underestimated finally is the responsibility of policy makers who, in a rapidly evolving society marked not least by new demographic dynamics, are called upon to unite two essential needs. The first being to create employment conditions that convince talented professionals to stay in, move to or return to Italy. Second, it is important to be mindful of the importance of being able to provide professional re-skilling so as to ensure the employment dignity and social utility of each worker. 

        In conclusion, considering the rapid and unpredictable changes the work world is experiencing, Italy would do well to equip itself for reducing exposure to uncertainty by promoting models and behaviors that support change as opportunity. The advent of artificial intelligence, often observed with wariness, could in reality be a resource for the new “digital natives”, capable of restoring the centrality of human thought and of creating new social and economic value. This, in the hopes that the questions prompted by current uncertainties – those ever-relevant issues regarding meaning and ends – will find new answers thanks to the resources made available by the spread of automation; and that the humanistic disciplines, increasingly perceived as anachronistic, recuperate their usefulness.

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