The Netherlands is facing major societal challenges. Examples include technological developments, such as digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI), but also the energy transition, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, a mismatch between supply and demand is emerging in the current labour market, which complicates solving the societal challenges. TNO is therefore proposing to innovate towards a future-proof and shock-resistant labour market. 

Three elements are necessary: skills, innovation involving both people and work, and inclusiveness. This creates a labour market that contributes to people's resilience, prosperity, well-being and solving major societal challenges.

LABOUR MARKET OF THE FUTURE IS ABOUT SKILLS

TNO is arguing that the labour market of the future will be about skills, not diplomas. The development of skills and the matching of people and work on the basis of skills must become central. There are currently frequent mismatches. To reduce these structural mismatches in skills and to promote transitions between sectors and professions, skills must be objectified in a uniform language of skills and workers and employers need to find each other on the basis of recognised skills.

INNOVATION IS PEOPLE AND WORK

Innovating without investing in people does not work: technological innovation cannot exist without social innovation. Technology is often seen as a threat to employment and quality of work, but it also offers opportunities for new and high-quality work. Strengthening the adaptability and absorptive capacity of people and organisations should be the main focus of technological change. This can be facilitated by a skills-based labour market.

INCLUSIVE LABOUR MARKET

While people with a vulnerable labour market position have great difficulty in finding a sustainable place in the labour market, companies also experience scarcity in certain professions. In a skills-based labour market, we look beyond the usual candidates to solve the scarcity issue. A focus on skills, the use of new and existing technology and targeted training will ensure that more people have a sustainable place in the labour process and will contribute to more diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.

WORK TOGETHER WITH TNO TOWARDS A SKILLS-BASED LABOUR MARKET

Achieving a future-proof labour market requires cooperation and coordinated action from all parties active in the labour market. We therefore call on them to join us in taking up this challenge. If you would you like to help us shape the transition in the labour market, get in touch with Ronald Dekker.

Knowledge

Labour market mismatch demands matching based on skills

Labour market developments are creating a mismatch between supply and demand. TNO wants to do something about this through various projects focusing on skills (knowledge, talents and qualities) instead... Read more
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Dr. Ronald Dekker

  • Labour economics
  • Economics of innovation
  • Future of work
  • Sustainable work
  • Inclusive work