The New Production Workforce: Responding to Shifting Labour Demands

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has transformed production industries with breathtaking speed and scale. Driven by macro and industry trends, global production value chains are shifting, impacting workers and the types of skills needed in production industries ranging from textiles to chemicals to automotive. As a result, a new geography of production employment is emerging. And an estimated 16 percent of jobs are susceptible across five production industries - automotive, apparel and textiles, consumer electronics, chemicals, and industrial equipment. This analysis was conducted in a recent study, "The New Production Workforce: Responding to Shifting Labour Demands." It's a smaller number than other studies have predicted, but one that represents nearly 50 million people across the globe.

The study uses the fundamental building blocks of all production industries - global value chains - as the starting point to understand how the global production workforce looks today. And how it could look tomorrow. It aims to bring a new lens to the future of production employment by focusing on the shifts in the production value chain and the impact of key trends on different value chain segments. Through modelling, insights were gained about who will be impacted the most across global production value chains, where, and at what magnitude.

This white paper is a starting point to start a focused discussion on the future of employment and skills in production industries, enabling multistakeholder collaboration on targeted actions across different geographies and segments of the value chain to shape the production workforce of tomorrow.

22 January 2018