Luxembourg does not want to leave anyone behind in the digitisation of work which is why it will launch a digital skills bridge programme in 2018.
According to employment minister Nicolas Schmit, speaking at the logistics cluster robotics and artificial intelligence change conference at the chamber of commerce on Tuesday, the project aims to identify jobs in Luxembourg that will change or be made redundant by robots and reskill the staff affected.
“We will have a lot of enterprises and sectors where finally there will be big transformation due to digital technologies,” he said. “The point is we have already now a shortage of rightly skilled people in this area.”
It is no secret that Luxembourg suffers from a digital skills gap. A 2016 Eurostat survey found that six out of ten companies polled in Luxembourg reported difficulties hiring for tech roles, the second-highest rate in the EU. At the same time, recent PwC forecasts predicted that around a third of UK jobs risked being lost over the coming 15 years because of the robotisation of work.
Schmit acknowledged the digital gap was a global problem, which is why the country has to act now to end uncertainty and pre-empt the effects of a digitised workplace.
“What we try to put in place is all companies who are in this process of going through this transformation should analyse what their future needs will be, which jobs will disappear or transform and what they have as needs in terms of reskilling their people?” the LSAP minister said.
Once this audit has been carried out, companies must establish a plan with employees and trade unions on how to respond to the digital transformation of their workplaces.
“Then they can apply for some financial means from the government,” for retraining staff.
The programme is expected to be launched in spring 2018. Schmit said that the ministry had already worked closely with PwC Luxembourg and spoken to major training bodies to support the programme.