Robots and increased automation can save many jobs from disappearing. At the same time many low paid jobs disappear when machines take over certain tasks. The NLJ looks at what the new technological revolution means.
The Danish government wants the public sector to be obliged to use welfare technology in nursing homes and hospitals to a much larger degree. There has been some progress, but the breakthrough has not yet come.
Aarhus Municipality is paving the way in introducing welfare technology. For 67 year old Svend Erik Christensen this means he can manage much more on his own — including going to the toilet.
“There’s no smoke, nobody seems to be around, what is it you’re doing?” A question often put by foreign visitors to the Director of Herøya Industrial Park. Change, improved efficiency and new technology has made an old industry competitive in the global market, and turned workers into knowledgeable operators.
Robots are taking over tasks only humans used to master, like writing articles and taking pictures. They relentlessly gather information or photograph the same subject hundreds of times.
3D printers have been in the spotlight for a long time. They represent technology which now looks like it is having its breakthrough. This is not only about printers becoming cheap enough to buy for private individuals. It is about a completely new production technology which represents the opposite of the way industries produce products today.
Working life goes through great changes from time to time. Globalisation forces jobs abroad, trades face tough competition as a result of liberalisation, new ways of organising work emerge or there is demographic change. Right now technology is having an overwhelming impact on working life. A combination of several technological changes, like robotisation and 3D printing, means the nature of manufacturing and services is changing completely. The Nordic Labour Journal looks at what technology means to working life.
Norwegian Thinfilm has just developed a revolutionary technology, printing electronics straight onto a plastic film at their plant in Swedish Linköping. It makes it possible to develop intelligent labels which can tell whether a product is being stored at the right temperature, and much more.
For the first time ever a Nordic country has reached full gender equality in the Nordic Labour Journal’s gender equality barometer. The barometer reflects the gender balance in 24 different positions of power in the Nordic societies. After a change of government last autumn, Norway has now reached 22 points. 20 points is needed for full gender equality.
“If we want to be a sustainable company we need mixed leadership groups on all levels. We have no credibility if we have only men in management. We also see how it has a positive influence on the entire organisation and that it has become more fun to work,” says Anette Segercrantz, head of human resources at Storebrand, which comprises the Swedish pensions provider and consultancy firm SPP.
Denmark is about to face the lack of gender equality in ethnic minority communities head on. The Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs, Manu Sareen, sees young immigrants beginning to rise up against the unequal treatment of girls and boys. He encourages everyone to join in.
Norway and Iceland have already introduced them and now boardroom gender quotas are rolling out across Europe.
Half of Italy’s new government ministers are women. What impact will that have on a country with Europe’s lowest female employment rate? Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promises change. He wants immediate reforms and to get the economy going. Yet so far the boardroom quota legislation seems to be having the greatest impact on gender equality.
There are two ways to compare different countries’ gender equality policies. You could look at the number of women reaching power or you could look current policies. The two don’t necessarily tell the same story.
“The important thing is to create a feeling of “us” for everyone who lives in Sweden and who sees their future to be here. If you want to live here you should also have a future here, but then there are issues which must be sorted out; like a job, language and security,” says Sweden’s Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag.
Finland has taken longer to adapt its labour market to immigration than other Nordic countries. It is more than ten years ago now that the then Minister of Employment Tarja Filatov (Social Democratic Party) gathered Nordic integration expert to a meeting outside of Helsinki.
The sizeable immigration from former Eastern European countries to the Nordic countries - and to Norway in particular - calls for integration measures which also include labour migrants, say Norwegian researchers.
All of the Nordic countries are attractive targets for refugees and labour migrants alike. But there are major differences both between which groups arrive and how they are received. Finland and Iceland have always stood out, but now the differences are increasing at a faster rate also between Denmark, Norway and Sweden.