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High-Level Conference Future of Work: Making It e-Easy kicks off today, September 13, and focuses on the changing world of work

Today, Wednesday, September 13, marks the start of the two-day Presidency conference, the ‘Future of Work: Making It e-Easy’ that hosts high-level public officials and experts in the field of labour and employment as well as social affairs, education and e-government, including experts from the public and private sectors. The conference focuses on the direction, extent and pace of the technological achievements and the ever-changing economic landscape that will change both the quantity and the quality of work. The conference will be hosted by the Minister for Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski and opened by the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid.

The aim of the conference is to inspire through practical solutions. The ‘Future of Work: Making It e-Easy’ brings together social partners, policy-makers, academics and others to provide a vision for developing policies for the changing nature of work that will ensure high employment, decent jobs, adequate social security, and a highly skilled workforce for the productive digital economy via digital solutions. It is also important to discuss how employers and employees adapt to work-life changes.

“We must think of how to address strategic readiness in order to capitalise the opportunities offered by digitalisation, automation and the readiness to shape work in a way that benefits employees, employers and society as a whole,” said Minister for Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski. “A frequently asked question is how the education system should prepare students for the future of work, considering that an estimated 65% of today’s pupils will be working in positions that do not exist yet. It is very important to develop teamwork, cognitive flexibility, e-skills and a willingness to improve skills, so that a person can take part in additional training and retraining processes during their whole life.” 

The high-level conference 'Future of Work: Making It e-Easy' is hosting 30 speakers. Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD and former Prime Minister of Finland will share her insight on the international challenges of the new world of work. Barbara Wittmann from LinkedIn will speak about matching future work and worker skills, and Iarla Flynn from Google will focus on skills development and talent management in the future workplace.

One of the speakers, Mike Feerick, is the CEO and founder of Alison – an Irish-based massive open online course (MOOC) – which is an educational technology platform that provides open access to more than 800 courses, to more than 10 million students worldwide. With over a million graduates, this educational innovation has widened the horizons of people of all income levels as they can obtain necessary professional knowledge for free and gain access to better job opportunities in the process.

Tallinn will also host leaders from eCampusOntario, a Canadian open online-course educational technology platform, and the McKinsey Global Institute. Confirmed speakers include representatives from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), BusinessEurope, the European Commission and ministers from across Europe.

There will be over 300 guests attending the conference overall, including the French Digital Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, the Latvian Minister for Welfare, representatives of social partners, high-level public officials from different ministries of the member states, and heads of businesses.

Based on the discussions of the conference, Estonia will draw up Council conclusions on future of work for the December EPSCO meeting.

Conference presentations are available on the event page: https://www.rk.ee/owncloud/index.php/s/9WFGLiH3RMDkYtR

Live stream of the conference is available on the presidency website: https://www.eu2017.ee/political-meetings/future-work-making-it-e-easy

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