The UK launched its Industrial Strategy yesterday, seeking to tackle the UK’s pervasive slow productivity growth. Developing technical skills is one of the key recommendations, through increasing teaching of STEM subjects, enhanced Computer Science education and “T levels,” the establishment of a National Centre for Computing Education and an Institute for Coding. Coincidentally, last week BT and Accenture launched their study “Tech know-how: The new way to get ahead for the next generation.” Though they both seem on the same page in promoting tackling technology skills shortages, there are important differences in emphasis.
Recent years have seen startling growth in the reach of mobile technology. Such growth has been truly ‘global’ with vast investment in mobile infrastructure, supporting increased network coverage across emerging markets in all six continents. The impact of this extends far beyond convenience and consumer choice. Mobile internet technologies are transforming product and labour markets the world over. They are helping to propel ideas, connect businesses and customers and match workers to opportunities.
If the most iconic American job ever is riding the range as a cowboy, then rolling down the highway as a long-haul trucker is somewhere on the short list. Now, 159 years after a patent was issued for the technology (barbed wire) that would end mass employment for the cowpoke, technology in the form of self-driving vehicles is threatening to reduce the role of the truck driver—one of the most common occupations in the country.