In this week’s Op-Ed piece, the General director of Enerclub, Arcadio Gutiérrez Zapico, focuses on a very interesting subject: the impact of the new energy model, to which we are irreversibly heading, on future jobs, professional profiles and the labor market in general. The sustainability policies and the fight against climate change, already underway, and the new energy models that will stem from this phenomenal change in trend, will have a direct impact on employment. But this transformation does not have to have a negative effect on new forms of work. It even poses us challenges both curious and attractive: maybe we have to learn to ‘unlearn’ some things in order to adapt.. Why not?
What will happen to employment throughout this century? What will be the new professions? What competencies, skills and training will be needed?
Answering these questions is not easy. Even more knowing that the world we live in is very different to the one we knew ten years ago, and that the global trends are going to make the way of living, working and relating very different in the coming decades. There are four trends standing out among these: digitization, globalization and interconnectivity, demographic changes, and policies for sustainability and the fight against climate change. There are several international organizations that are studying the impact of these changes in the labor market.
The jobs do not disappear, they make room for others
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has been investigating the future of work in different economic sectors for some years. In its latest report, it predicts that by 2025 the machines will make more than half of the total working hours (compared to 29% today). This will have a phenomenal impact on the labor arena. However, in terms of overall figures, the results are positive (133 million new jobs compared to 75 million that will be displaced). For its part, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has recently published a study analyzing the impact of compliance with the COP 21 Paris Agreement, noting that globally the results would also be positive, generating four jobs for each one that is lost (24 million jobs vs. 6 million).
New opportunities will be created, many of which still do not exist or are being created with some of these jobs that are not even imagined today.
The implications will be felt in all sectors, including the energy sector whose labor market is expected to be very different in the coming years. Certain professions or skills will disappear or become obsolete. But, as per the predictions of the organizations mentioned above, new professional opportunities will be created above all, many of which still do not exist or are being created. Some of these jobs are not even imagined today.
The best solutions are in the deep debate
A the Club we are convinced of the importance of knowing how the labor market is changing in our sector and under the principle that the best solutions are found through debate and the exchange of ideas, we held a conference on this topic last month. December.
The day was boosted by the alumni of our training courses (Eneralumni) and, during it, representatives of the human resources environment of companies, headhunters, and the University shared their concerns about the future of employment in the sector. The debate was very interesting and many questions were put on the table that we hope to continue analyzing in depth in the near future. I would like to refer to three of them in this article.
The “hybridization machine-person” will be growing and is seen as an opportunity that requires investment in human capital
The first is related to professional profiles. STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are and will continue to be very important, but they will need to be completed with new skills and new fields, especially digital. The “hybridization machine-person” will be growing and is seen as an opportunity that requires investment in human capital. Other profiles that will also be increasingly demanded are those related to customer service or finances.
The second reflection revolves around the education system and training to meet the demand for new professions and profiles that will be required. The University faces the challenge of meeting the speed of changes. Modifying curricula is a slow process, so perhaps you could opt for other easier options, such as changing learning methodologies or a greater approach to the professional world. Constant learning is considered very relevant, but we must go further, generating unique profiles, so that each one builds himself and has the University as a center of opportunities and meeting. The adaptation and agility of the educational system, as well as the requalification of employees in companies and organizations, is considered a major challenge.
The third and last reflection is about the so-called “soft skills”. In a global world and in continuous transformation, having worked in an international context is considered a plus, as well as having diversity of thought, questioning the establishment, and the ability to seek innovative solutions, adapt to changes, as well as to learn and also “unlearn”. These are some of the qualities that will make a difference in the employment of the future.
We are in a moment of great uncertainty, of transformation, of search for solutions, of innovation. We must take advantage of all the options that are opening up to us, investing in the management of our own talent and knowing that the energy sector is an essential sector for all.
Traditionally it has known how to adapt to the changes that have been presented to it and will continue to do so thanks, mainly, to its excellent human capital.
From the Spanish Energy Club, we will closely follow these issues of great importance for society as a whole.