Young People, Employment and the internet - the bigger picture
So last week Dan Sutch and I were lucky enough to be invited by the wonderful Giulio Quaggiotto and Denisa Papayova over at the UNDP in Bratislava to give a presentation on technology can support digital inclusion, and particuarly econimic inclusion, for young people. You can see our slides here
Addressing this question first means understanding the changing context of participation in employment. We drew on some research from our recent State of the Art Review on Employment and the Internet to give a sense underlying influences we should be aware of:
- Technology is changing the structure of employment, young people are entering into a world where with factors like globalisation and economic restructuring, they are facing an entirely different market than before.
- There’s a growth in Information Careers and Guidance (ICAG) on the web meaning that young people can engage in the labour market and access previously silo-ed knowledge in ways they never could before.
- Recruitment methods are changing to be more online focussed, even in industries that are not obviously digital – this is both in terms of employees finding and applying for work online, but also employers being able to find out employees online.
- Young people and those with higher level qualifications are most likely to use the internet for job search whereas older people and those with experience of manual occupations are least likely to do so. This means people are potentially at the risk of exclusion.
- The internet opens up the possibility for individuals to take a more ‘active’ role in job search, e.g. networking with individuals online or approaching employers.
- Young people need skills in both using the internet and creating content for the internet to take advantage of these opportunities.
- The internet is a powerful enabler of changing locations of work - meaning geography is less of a barrier now than ever before.
- There are new global markets and possibilities for trade even on the level of cottage industries, things like Taobao in China have created new marketplaces for small and large traders alike.