The impact of technological advances on the labour market: Can we achieve decent life for workers in the digital age?

On September 12 - 14, 2019 an international conference „The impact of technological advances on the labour market: Can we achieve decent life for workers in the digital age?“ was held in Vilnius. It was organised by Education Centre of Lithuanian Labour Federation (LDF) with the support of EZA and of the European Union.

The conference was attended by more than 50 participants representing workers‘ organizations from Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, Belgium, Slovakia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Albania, Denmark, France, Cyprus, Poland and Lithuania. 

Aims of the seminar:

  • To identify key forces shaping the labour markets at digital age;
  • To examine the new trends of Employment and new fields of occupation;
  • To debate what impact will technology have on ageing workers;
  • To analyse what role trade unions have to take in the digital age;
  • To share the best practices from different European countries.

The seminar covered the following topics in detail:

  • Impact of work process streamlining on future professions;
  • Introduction of modern technologies in companies and the resulting problems and new opportunities for employees;
  • Influence of robotization and automation on different professions;
  • XYZ generational compatibility in the labor market;
  • Influence of information technology on employee stress;
  • Recent emerging threats to the safety and health of workers;
  • Mobbying in companies and ways to combat it;
  • EESC position on the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the labor market and workers;
  • Effective promotion of employee representatives to adapt to new labor market challenges.

The participants of the seminar provided the following key insights and principles for further work

1. Recognize that the ongoing industrial revolution and the introduction of new technologies have a significant positive impact on people's quality of life, facilitate domestic work and facilitate communication. It allows robots to perform dangerous and difficult work, improves work quality - automates monotonous repetitive tasks, performs many technical tasks or calculations using special programs, etc.

2. Over 1500 new professions have emerged - Database Administrator, Web Designer, Cybersecurity Specialist, Data Protection Specialist, ...

3. New ways of organizing and managing work are emerging. The application of IT opens up new opportunities for reconciling work and private life.

4. Employment status, hierarchy and relationships changed.

5. Working on Internet platforms is very diverse; this may include casual work, dependent self-employment, unit work, home work and casual work.

6. There is a risk - new jobs and practices, sometimes dangerous, exposure to new materials, electrical disturbances, risk of burglary, gaps in safety systems.

7. New work tools may be related to

• Harmful, hazardous environment,

• Increased risk and work intensity,

• Ergonomics and sedentary work,

• Constant monitoring of employees and loss of privacy,

• Cyber ​​security.

8. Not only the structure of business but also of employment is changing. The (pseudo) self-employed, many casual employers, remote jobs are emerging.

9. Consequences of new ways of working for employees: jobs out of control, working hours out of control, no job security, often employee is in solitude.

10. Employee representation is difficult and there is weak collective bargaining.


1. Increase countries' investment in education and training. Adapt training programs and objectives to the changing world and labor market. From primary school, focus more on practical skills and event analysis, less on information acquisition.

2. Develop talent, promote and support a variety of creative programs.

3. Lifelong learning must provide real opportunities for workers of all ages to remain in the labor market.

4. Increase employers' responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of occupational safety and health requirements.

5. Responsibly coordinate the achievement of the organizations goals and the working conditions of the employees, professionally plan tasks and workload, in order to reduce techno-stress of employees.

6. Improving the work-life balance for workers.

7. Involve social partners more in decision-making and take their suggestions into account.