What kinds of occupations will be more important in the future? What will happen to jobs in some of Scotland’s key growth areas like energy and the creative industries? What skills will workers need to make the most of future opportunities? Where will the main skills gaps be and what can educators and policymakers do to anticipate them?
The skills and tasks that make up occupations vary from country to country as does the importance of different sectors and jobs. This suggests that future trends such as pervasive automation will have differing regional impacts. Earlier research suggests that compared with other parts of the UK Scotland has one of the lowest workforce share of jobs with a high probability of automation. Nesta’s own research shows that creative jobs are highly resistant to automation. So a growing creative economy will provide protection against the employment impacts of automation.
But automation is only one of many global trends shaping the labour market. Consider the ageing population, climate change, urbanisation and rising political uncertainty - each of which will have important sectoral implications. These drivers will each impact, and interact in how they impact, on jobs.
Through our recent work, in collaboration with global education company Pearson and in partnership with Michael Osborne at Oxford University, we have taken a more comprehensive look at these drivers of change and their impacts on the future demand for jobs and skills. By combining macro trend analysis, qualitative foresight and quantitative machine learning techniques in a novel way, our goal is to present more accurate predictions about future jobs and skills demand.