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Implications of the Digital Economy for age at work

by on December 3, 2014

In my role as a researcher on the Digital Brain Switch project at the OU, I attended the Digital Economy conference yesterday. I realised early on that there was material being discussed that was relevant to our age at work research too. So here are a couple of observations.

First, Ed Vaizey MP and Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy talked about the importance of the workplace in developing and promoting digital skills. Given the importance which is being stressed on these skills for building and sustaining the economy, this potentially further divides those in work and those who are unemployed as the latter may further miss out on key skills. This may disadvantage those of all ages but particularly those who have been out of education for a while.

This is compounded by a second point made by JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist of sales force.com. He argued that learning has become more important than experience. In future, CVs will be read not to assess what people have done but on their potential, ie for evidence of what they can do in the future. We will all need to be lifelong learners (I agree with this). The implications of this however may disadvantage older workers because of the stereotype of them as ‘experienced’ and because of the stereotype of younger workers as representing ‘potentiality’. Which of course is why in this blog we have argued about the dangers of stereotypes, including those which are seen as ‘positive’, for all age groups in relation to age at work.

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From → Conferences

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Transitions At Work and commented:
    Rebecca Whiting from age-at-work on the predicament of older workers being ‘experienced’ but not having the ‘potentiality’ of young workers who’ll therefore be getting the training and development. Older workers getting left behind?

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