ERIC Number: ED317675
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Introducing New Technology into the Workplace: Retraining Issues and Strategies. Background Paper No. 8b.
Technological advances necessitate the continuous retraining of the work force. Three technologies are having greatest impact on the labor force: (1) the scope and depth of computer skills required by most jobs continue to expand; (2) robotics in manufacturing means that certain new jobs are more technical and require postsecondary education; and (3) telecommunications are becoming increasingly important in business. Consequently, a large proportion of workers is likely to be affected by one or more of these technologies. Three general effects of new technologies are skill twist, deskilling, and upskilling. Skill twist refers to the displacement of old skills with new ones. In deskilling, new technology reduces the level of skills required, and upskilling has the opposite effect. The nature of retraining for these three effects clearly differs; other influences are employee characteristics and organizational structures. Strategies for retraining include lifelong learning, use of educational technology, training sponsored by professional organizations, and vendor training materials. Issues in their use include affordability, accessibility, effectiveness, and the question of who is responsible--individuals or employers. Different policies are needed for skill twist, deskilling, and upskilling, as well as attention to the needs of groups whose level of literacy or economic circumstances limit their ability to participate in retraining. (33 references) (SK)
Descriptors: Computers, Decision Making, Dislocated Workers, Education Work Relationship, Employer Attitudes, Employment Practices, Job Skills, Labor Needs, Models, On the Job Training, Policy Formation, Postsecondary Education, Public Policy, Retraining, Robotics, School Business Relationship, Skill Development, Skill Obsolescence, Technological Advancement, Telecommunications
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In "Investing in People: A Strategy to Address America's Workforce Crisis" (CE 054 080).