The goal of our research is to assess the suitability of educational policies and answer the question of whether they will be ready to face the challenge of the growing digitalisation of our economy. We also examine the suitability of the vocational training and employment training system, as policies for the improvement of employability and lifelong training will play a key role as regards the technological challenge.
It is obvious that the advance of technology makes it possible for many functions that used to be located in work centres to be performed outside them. This is radically transforming the concepts of workplace and working hours, given that often the use of technology makes it possible to work anytime, anywhere. Hence, we must do research into the way to guarantee new digital rights, such as the right to disconnection, privacy and data protection rights, as well as, more generally, into how to organize business activity so that wellbeing at work is generated.
The Platform Economy and the apparent break with the need for intermediation between producer and consumer has led to a questioning the notions of worker and employer which we had used until now. The increase in self-employment, often on the margins of the law, questions the notion of worker. Something similar is the case with the concept of employer. The boom of online work platforms is generating a phenomenon that could be termed as the “depersonalization” of the employer. All this requires a reflection on the institutions and concepts on which Labour Law has been based until now.
If digitalisation can cause the loss of jobs, its effects on the very structure of the social protection model must be examined. A world in which a smaller number of people work, even if it continues to create and reproduce wealth, needs to know how to approach the social protection of most of its citizens. Hence it is necessary to reflect on mechanisms for unemployment benefits that are broader than current ones and/or on the convenience of establishing a minimum income or basic subsistence income as transitional measures towards the future.