‘Just transition’ needed to help people in ever-more data driven economy

GROWING use of data will result in job losses in some sectors of the economy, an expert has warned.

Matthew Bell of Frontier Economics. (29509509)
Matthew Bell of Frontier Economics. (29509509)

Matthew Bell, a director at Frontier Economics, also said the government and business had a central role to help people move to roles in growing industries as data-driven changes transformed the economy.

‘The work that we’ve done both in Guernsey but also elsewhere emphasises the fact that, as we know, there will be parts of the economy that benefit from data and digital transition. And there will be parts of the economy that suffer and where there are job losses,’ he told a data-focused event held at the Digital Greenhouse in St Peter Port.

Other changes related to Covid-19, the climate and energy systems were also under way.

Facilitating the movement of people to growing sectors such as finance, technology, wholesale retail and tourism post-pandemic was therefore essential.

‘Both government and the private sector have a big role there in ensuring that skills, labour market policies and other related policies are linked to those changes and are adapting, as we have been speaking to, in real time,’ said Mr Bell.

He also noted government being able to step in, apprenticeships and retraining were initiatives undertaken in the past.

Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, a member of the Economic Development committee, also spoke at the event, highlighting the need for a ‘just transition’ to help people in an ever-more data driven economy.

‘As economies and economic mixes change, we need to make sure we take the people who are affected and the businesses who are affected, basically, with us,’ said Deputy Kazantseva-Miller, who is the committee’s digital, skills and entrepreneurship lead.

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