Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

The nature of work is changing, due to demographic shifts, globalization, and digitization. Regional local labor markets are in global competition for (highly) qualified and specialized workers. At the same time, the workforce’s desire for flexibility and the increasing speed at which skill requirements are changing are producing disparities at the spatial, social, and economic levels.

This book discusses the global and local drivers behind these developments. It explores the factors which cause global inequalities between urban and rural areas, and highlights how cities, regions and countries attract these sought-after employees to address skills shortages. The book includes an in-depth case study on high-skilled workers in South Tyrol, Italy. No single academic discipline can adequately capture the dynamics of the future labor market, and the authors therefore take an interdisciplinary approach, combining insights from different disciplines. This book will be a valuable resource for policymakers, students and researchers seeking to understand the driving forces behind the ever-changing labor market and the future of high-skilled work.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
This chapter serves as an introduction to the topic of this book, that is the future of high-skilled workers and related regional problems and global challenges in a rapidly changing world. In this chapter, we introduce the main definition and the structure of the book, as well as the methods used in our research.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

8. Discussion and Conclusion

Abstract
Throughout this book we explore the impact of current global trends on the future of work and on high-skilled workers in industrialized countries. We investigated how technological progress such as digitization affects not only labor markets but especially the development of skills and the organization of labor; the differences between social generations and the importance of work-life balance perspectives. Moreover, considering a regional benchmarking, we explored talent competitiveness of European regions and identified strengths and weaknesses of our case study from South Tyrol (Italy). In this final chapter, we present further thoughts on the importance of work and dignity in dynamically changing societies in the twenty-first century.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

The Future of Work: Trends

Frontmatter

2. Global Trends Shaping the World of Work

Abstract
Technology and demographic change are major trends influencing the present and future of work. Since their inception, digitization, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have had an impact on work practices. While some activities and roles have been automated by machines and—increasingly—affected by algorithms, new tasks are arising and the labor market is changing. With demographic changes such as the aging and shrinking of industrialized societies and youth bulges and growing populations in emerging markets, national labor markets will be challenged. Migration, feminization and urbanization are subdevelopments affecting work. This chapter offers a macro view of current trends embracing the future of work and talents.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

3. The Jungle of Skills Mismatch

Abstract
In the knowledge economy there is an increased focus on skills. Moreover, rapidly changing developments and growing skills shortages are generating considerable political and socio-economic tensions. The workers with the greatest potential value on the labor market seem to be the high-skilled workers, with strong digital and technological skills and complex thinking. This may have an important economic impact, but research shows that a skills shortage is not the only problem—there is also a problem of a skills mismatch with implications at different levels. These developments also have an impact on future generations—on the skills that are important for the talents of tomorrow and what that means for the education system.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

4. Shaping the Future Organization of Work and Life

Abstract
The present chapter outlines the future organization of the work and life of highly skilled workers, covering the importance of a work-life balance, the organization of work and the concept of democratic organization. The central questions pursued in this chapter are why a work-life balance is becoming an increasingly important factor for highly skilled workers, how work is organized in modern-day organizations and how a work-life balance, the flexibility of work and the idea of democratic organizations are related to each other. The results show that a work-life balance and work flexibility are increasingly valued by future talents when evaluating job opportunities. While workplace flexibility can negatively impact the work-life balance, these negative impacts can largely be absorbed in democratically structured organizations. Based on this analysis, we conclude that the topics analyzed in this chapter should be taken into account by companies competing for highly qualified workers.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

5. Does “place” Matter? The Importance of Location Factors

Abstract
The collection of knowledge embodied in people in a central location has become a factor in increasing economic growth, innovation and well-being in a society. Thus, the debate on the highly skilled is also connected to questions of power and wealth in nations and regions. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the location factors that are important to retain and attract highly qualified people. Economically strong countries and urban areas usually have locational advantages. This chapter briefly discusses the role of place independent of technological progress and advancing globalization, and focuses, first, on the highly skilled in relation to location and development of an area and, second, on locational factors and amenities that are and will be important for tomorrow’s talents.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

The Future of Work in Europe and Its Regions

Frontmatter

6. Talent Competition Within Europe

Abstract
In recent times, the ability of a region to attract and retain high-skilled personnel has become an important factor in enhancing its economic benefit and well-being. Therefore, regional benchmarking concerning talent attraction has become a powerful instrument to identify the position of each region in comparison to others and to determine strengths and weaknesses. This chapter presents new findings revealing the strongest European regions in the competition for the highly qualified and aims to gain a better understanding of the regional capability to attract and retain high-skilled workers in the European context. Therefore, every region within the European Union and Schengen was included in our study, as each entity at the sub-national level (be it a city or a region) can be innovative and compete for talents.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

7. Can Rural Regions Compete for Talents? A Case Study From South Tyrol, Italy

by Valeria Ferraretto
Abstract
South Tyrol is an Italian region that enjoys economic well-being and a high quality of life. However, in the last decades, the region is experiencing labor market shortages, population aging and high-skilled emigration. In order to investigate how the region could better position itself in the global competition for a high-skilled workforce, we assess its degree of talent attractivity and its role within Europe by benchmarking it against other European regions using the European Regions’ Talent Competitiveness Index (ERTCI). The chapter is structured as follows: in the introduction, we provide some contextual information about South Tyrol; we then investigate the position of South Tyrol within ERTCI at both the European and Italian level, by analyzing each pillar separately in the second part of the chapter. Our insights can support recommendations for improving the region’s talent attraction strategy.
Ingrid Kofler, Elisa Innerhofer, Anja Marcher, Mirjam Gruber, Harald Pechlaner

Backmatter

Additional information

Premium Partner

    Image Credits