Major Changes in the Work Methods of Industries: Consequences for Workers

Pages: 3 (679 words) Published: August 12, 2009
Question 1: Select an industry and outline the changes taking place in the nature of its work and how work in that industry is organized. Describe the effect these changes have on the skill requirements of workers.

A lot of industries have faced major changes in their work methods in the last years, such as the automobile industry. Technology is one of the main factors to be accounted for these new working methods. A lot of consequences for workers occur due to this change such as the following:

The upskilling effect in employees;
The many jobs lost;
The level of education one needs to have.
The upskilling effect in employees
To begin, technology alters the content of work and can mean having the upskilling effect among employees. Years ago, employees working at the automobile industry used to assemble cars by hand, each having a certain role in the production line. Today, the number of employees in the automobile industry has reduced considerably due to technology taking the place of workers. With this new technology in place, workers will need to acquire more skills to be able to maneuver this new system that took place in their everyday work life. Also, as the result of this new implementation, labour demand has shifted towards the highly skilled and the demand for unskilled and lower skilled workers diminish. “We conclude that labour demand overall is shifting in favor of skilled workers” (Betcherman, McMullen & Davidman ,1998, p.12). A study from the CBT (Computer Based Technology) did a survey among employees to find out how the job requirements among employees had been affected by this new technology. “The results showed that CBT had a modest upskilling

effect”(Betcherman, et al, 1998, p.19). It is now evident to see that this new technology forces workers to obtain new skills to be able to provide for their employer in an efficient way.

The many jobs lost
Secondly, as a result of the upskilling effect and the new technology, many...

References: G. Betcherman, K. McMullen & K. Davidman. (1998). Training for the New Economy.
D. Robertson & J. Wareham (2003). Technological Change and Shifting Labour Requirements.
The Canadian Training System Manual
J. Shields (2003). Flexible Work, Labour Market Polarization, and the Politics of Skills Training
and Enhancement. The Canadian Training System Manual
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