Introduction



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Do you know what a falconer is? What about a chimney-sweep or a daguerreotypist?

As you may have guessed, a falconer was a medieval hunter who used falcons to catch his prey. A chimney-sweep, was someone who inspected and cleaned chimneys, while a daguerreotypist was an early type of photographer. Some of these jobs have completely disappeared over the centuries while others have changed dramatically along with the skills required to perform them.  

If you watch the news you may hear all these gloomy stories about how manufacturing jobs will be lost the coming years as people will be replaced by robots. But someone must design, program and maintain the functionality of these robots, right? Thus, new jobs will be created. Technological advancement may lead to the extinction of certain jobs but will also result to the creation of new ones! Online shopping, for example, may have resulted in fewer jobs for human workers in retail outlets, but it created jobs in the development of websites, shipping and packaging goods. The introduction of ATM’s may have led to less tellers per bank branch but also led to more branches being opened as a result of the lower operating costs, which in turn  maintained the overall number of bank tellers to more or less the same. Technological change doesn’t necessarily destroy jobs; it just shifts them from one sector of the economy to another. 

Task



However things are not that simple. Technological change doesn’t happen in a day. Neither do job loss or creation. Instead, it happens gradually resulting to, sometimes great, surpluses and shortages of skilled people in certain professions. These surpluses and shortages, are among the key factors of unemployment and wages.  This is why it is important for both people who are entering the labor market and for governments to understand how demand for certain skills changes over the years. This is why the European Union invests loads of money on studying what are the future professions that will be on demand.

The European Commission has created a website that summarizes all the skills and professions that are currently on demand in each European country.  In this task you will have a look on the current skill shortages and surpluses in three European countries, including the one you are located in. This way, you will be better prepared to access the labour market, as you will learn what jobs are in demand in the country you live in and what jobs are quite stagnant! Isn’t that fascinating?

Process

Are you ready to find out what are the professions that are most and least demanded by employers in the European country you live in? Have a look at Exercise 1 and you will find out more!

Are you interested in how future jobs may look like, or how jobs have changed over time? If so, check the videos on the links provided.

 

Conclusion

This is it! By now you should have a clear picture of the present state of the labour market and how it might turn into in the future.

Evaluation

  • Learn about the trends in the labour market.
  • Learn about current skill shortages and surpluses in the EU and how these are formed
  • What are the professions that are most and least demanded in three European countries
  • How needs at different time periods helped shaping the labour market.
  • Being able to identify what are the on-demand professions in the EU

Resources

Videos


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