Hollowing out – deeper than it sounds

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Work & Security

It’s rare that technical economic concepts make their way out of the halls of academia and into the mainstream. Yet the idea that labour markets in advanced economies are increasingly ‘polarising’ between ‘lovely’ and ‘lousy’ jobs – with middle-of-the-road jobs being ‘hollowed out’ and wage inequality rising as a result – is one that has … Continued

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The robots are coming. Will they bring wealth or a divided society?

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Shared Growth

Whether it’s our humdrum reliance on supermarket self-service tills, Siri on our iPhones, the emergence of the drone as a weapon of choice or the impending arrival of the driverless car, intelligent machines are woven into our lives as never before. It’s increasingly common, a cliche even, for us to read about the inexorable rise … Continued

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Up-skilling the middle

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Work & Security

Successive governments have certainly placed skills policy at the heart of strategies to raise living standards and tackle low pay. Yet now there are growing doubts about whether upskilling workers will be enough to bring about genuine improvements in the living conditions of people currently on low to middle incomes (LMIs). In a new paper … Continued

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The Changing Shape of the UK Job Market

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Work & Security

This post appeared on the OECD Insights blog It’s becoming more and more common to hear both researchers and policymakers talking about the UK developing an hourglass labour market. This is the idea that, because of technical progress, many middle-skill, middle-wage jobs (such as assembly line operators and clerical workers) have been replaced by machinery, hollowing out … Continued

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Cameron is right to focus on quality apprenticeships

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Work & Security

If there are ‘no votes in skills’, as the old dictum goes, there seem to be some in apprenticeships. Hence David Cameron’s call this morning for apprenticeships to become a ‘gold standard’ qualification ranking alongside degrees from the best universities. His goal is to rectify Britain’s shockingly poor performance on mid-level skills compared to world … Continued

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