Written by Baker Khundakji, ITF young transport workers officer
Young workers, and young women in particular, are the most exposed to the threats posed by new technology.
Digital inequality is already a reality for millions of young workers. Three-quarters of working youth are in informal jobs, compared with 58 percent of adults.
Around 20-40 percent of young workers’ tasks could be changed by automation.
Without government and union action, billions of young people and transport workers will find their jobs becoming more precarious and intensive, while the social protections they deserve disappear around them.
The ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work’s 2019 recommendations would be a huge step towards addressing age inequality.
A universal entitlement to lifelong learning would narrow the growing skills gaps for young workers. Poorer students are three times less likely to achieve the minimum proficiency in science needed to compete in the new job market.
ITF research in Singapore is mapping the digital skills needed to equip young workers around the world in the future.
Supporting young people through future of work transitions must be built on equal pay for equal work. Young workers must not become an exploited underclass.
Active employment programs must be well-funded by the state and employers. In OECD countries, 17 percent of 20-24 year olds are not in employment, education or training. Cutting this to 9 percent could increase global GDP by USD1.2 trillion.
Young workers move and run the ‘platform’ economy. A Universal Labour Guarantee for rights, a living wage, minimum and maximum working time, and dignity at work for all workers, regardless of their age or employment status, should be at the core of the future economy.
‘Gig working’ is forecast to be worth nearly USD63 billion by 2020. Tech should not be used to deprive young workers of the job security and equality they are entitled to. The ITF is working to connect and empower young workers in transport to make sure platform work is decent work.