Food for thought on future of jobs

March 4, 2020

The Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) and the Civil Service Institute (IPA) of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) held a Power Breakfast titled ‘The Future of Jobs’ recently.

CSPS Chief Researcher Dr Diana Cheong, in her talk titled ‘Driving Forces on the Future of Jobs in Brunei Darussalam,’ noted that the future landscape is not static and will definitely change particularly with the impact of automation, the Internet-of-Things (IOT) and the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).

A more future-oriented approach involving strategic foresight is needed to ensure a sustainable job future, she said.

Dr Diana also presented part of a two-year research project CSPS has been conducting in the area of job futures. Using strategic foresight tools and consultations with over 100 stakeholders, a number of identified driving forces likely to impact the future of jobs in Brunei were presented.

The key driving forces include jobless growth and lights out manufacturing; decreasing value of academic qualifications and missing the first rung of skills development; increasing desire for meaningful work and uberisation of work; bifurcation of the labour market and radical income redistribution; digitisation of public services; and technology behemoths and rapid infrastructure in ASEAN.

UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies Professor Sohail Inayatullah discussed about ‘Global Trends and the Futures of Jobs.’

Professor Inayatullah explored trends and disruptions related to the futures of jobs. Four scenarios were presented – namely a no change scenario where teaching and training is done for yesterday’s jobs; a marginal change scenario where there is a catch up and closing of the gap between skills and jobs; an adaptive change scenario where teaching and training is conducted for portfolio careers and emerging jobs; and a radical change scenario which paints the world after jobs.

The presentation was interactive and participants were invited to create a new narrative around work and education. The Power Breakfast was held at The Empire Brunei and attended by 100 senior government officials as well as participants from CSPS’ Strategic Foresight and Strategic Planning Masterclass, which was held in the same week.