Tag Archives: VoxShiftChange

These factory workers get paid to go to school

Can we make apprenticeships great again? In many cases, automation is changing the workforce faster than we can keep up. Manufacturers say they expect to have millions of unfilled positions. Adapting apprenticeship programs could help close the expanding wage and skills gaps by giving people another option for job training.

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The robot-proof job men aren’t taking

It’s easy to imagine that the jobs of the future, if they even exist, will all revolve around technology. But it turns out, the jobs that are least likely to succumb to automation are those that involve building human relationships. The healthcare field is a prime example— nurses, physician assistants, and physical therapists have higher-than-average salaries and major expected job growth. These fields share something else in common— they’re dominated by women. Despite the erosion of traditionally “masculine” fields like manufacturing, men just aren’t taking these high-paying, in-demand healthcare jobs in the numbers you’d expect. For decades, nursing in particular has been considered “women’s work,” in part because it’s assumed that women, more so than men, have a kind of innate capacity for caring and empathy. But men in nursing say this mindset is holding us back. For them, caring and empathy are stills that can be developed, not traits someone is worth with or without based on their gender.

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How job surveillance is changing trucking in America

The promise of self-driving trucks will radically reshape one of America’s most common jobs. There are 3.5 million professional drivers in the US, all of whom may face job displacement in the autonomous future being developed by companies like Otto, Daimler, and Tesla. But before robots take the wheel entirely, there will be a long period where truckers and artificial technology split the responsibilities of the work. The first big step toward that future comes in the form of the electronic logging device, a dashboard monitor that tracks speed, location, and a driver’s schedule, and reports it to an employer or a third-party monitoring service. It has a lot of truckers worried.

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Why the rise of the robots won’t mean the end of work

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics have commentators worrying about the coming obsolescence of the human worker. Some in Silicon Valley are even calling for a basic minimum income provided by the government for everyone, under the assumption that work will become scarce. But many economists are skeptical of these claims, because the notion that the the economy offers a fixed amount of work has been debunked time and time again over the centuries and current economic data show no signs of a productivity boom. Fortunately, we don’t need to divine the future of the labor market in order to prepare for it.

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