Innovation trend may shift towards M-shaped Society: report

2018/07/12 22:43:24 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 12 (CNA) A recent report on how the trend of innovation-focused economies will affect workforce demands pointed out that salaries in the future may be structured towards reflecting an M-shaped Society as mid-level employees are not qualified enough for higher positions and will be easily replaced by lower-level employees.

The term M-shaped Society, coined by the Japanese economist Kenichi Ohmae, is used to describe a phenomenon in which the number of rich and poor people swell while the middle class diminishes.

The report, which studied Taiwan's 5+2 Industrial Innovation Plan and its impact on work and skills needed for the next 10 years was commissioned by the National Development Council and conducted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER).

The report showed that the digital innovation trend has far-reaching impact on industrial manpower and in the future the opportunities for human-computer collaboration will increase significantly in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things.

At the same time, TIER is also concerned that innovative technology will replace some of the lesser-skilled workers, while mid-level employees are not skilled enough to replace higher-level employees and may find themselves replaced by lower-level employees.

Also, due to development of digital technology, it is foreseeable that work hours and workplaces will become more flexible, the job-seeker may no longer only dedicate himself or herself to a single job, but instead do part-time or freelance work.

When working conditions will no longer be restricted by fixed hours or work place, TIER said, it will make work time difficult to define, work performance will be based on results and work processes will be relatively unimportant.

And when more and more people choose free work styles without fixed income and work benefits, it will also be worrisome if the government does not improve the legal protection of freelance workers, TIER pointed out.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and William Yen)
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