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Where will the jobs go in the cyber-economy?
Where will the jobs go in the cyber-economy?Keywords: Work, Computers, Employment, Location
It is a global digital economy. Information work can be sent and done anywhere, at any time. So who gets the jobs? The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) is at the centre of a major European project to find out where the work is going, when and why. As Project Director, Ursula Huws, comments:
At the click of a mouse, incoming calls can be rerouted from an overflowing call centre in Bradford, to Barbados or Brisbane. Software might be developed in Manchester, Minsk or Madras. You can get your routine typing done anywhere nimble fingers can be found pounding a keyboard linked to a modem, whether in a suburban Kettering home, or a multi-storey block in Kuala Lumpur.
The knowledge industries are generally reckoned to be the most powerful motors of economic growth. Policy-makers look to the emerging information services sector as a source of new jobs. The question is, how can these new employment patterns be tracked? And how many of the new jobs will be located (and stay) in Europe?
There is a crying need from policy makers and other stakeholders for reliable answers to such questions as:
What are the favoured sites for the new knowledge-based jobs and which areas are at risk of losing employment?
What are the criteria which determine the choice of location?
What are the trends in home-based and mobile teleworking?
The Institute of Employment Studies has launched this major new study, which will for the first time chart the new global division of labour in information-processing work.
With core funding of 2.1 million euros from the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, the three-year Estimation and Mapping of Employment Relocation in a Global Economy in the New Communications Environment (EMERGENCE) project will carry out pioneering research in 22 countries, develop a model for the prediction of future trends and disseminate the results in a user-friendly form.
Directed by Ursula Huws, an Associate Fellow of IES and an international authority on teleworking, the project has global research partners:
Danish Technological Institute (DTI) in Denmark;
Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (FORBA) in Austria;
Hoger Instituut Voor de Arbeid (HIVA) based at the Catholic University of Leuven (Louvain) in Belgium;
Institute of Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (ISB) in Hungary;
Economic and Social Research Institute (IRES) in Italy;
The Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology (IMIT) in Sweden;
NOP Business, part of the NOP Research Group (NOP), based in the UK;
The School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada;
The Faculty of Business and Public Management at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.
The international survey will be carried out by NOP.