Anne Kovalainen: The change of work on platform economy is still nascent in Finland

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The first seminar of “Työn murroksen mestarikurssi” (master course of change of work), organised by the four different programmes of the Strategic Research Council, was arranged on 13th of March. The main topic discussed was the work of the future. SWiPE project took part in the first master course, as well as COPE, WeAll and WIP projects brought their expertise and latest findings to the course.

The programme leader and SWiPE researcher Eveliina Saari stated in her opening remarks that there is great deal of threats and hype concerning the change of work, which means the effects of platform economy and digitalization. The programmes and projects of the Strategic Research Council provide knowledge to support political decision-making so that the future of work will be good relative to technology development, markets and people.

Anne Kovalainen, the director of SWiPE research consortium, brought up the risks and opportunities of the work of the future. She noted that work is a current subject for researchers, decision-makers and the general public. The work changes rapidly and individuals’ ability to handle change varies. Technology changes the content of work at a soaring pace and, in particular, tasks, not so much professions, change.

The key point of change of work is to ask what is changing – what kind of work is changing, whose work is changing, what kind of demanding or certain qualifications requiring work is changing and what is the work of the future in relation to employees, employers, business field, public sectors, occupations and labour market. Anne Kovalainen raised four examples of the platform work of this moment and of the future, especially from an economic point of view.

– On the labour market, however, stability is a stronger trend than change, said Anne Kovalainen. According to her, the change of work on platform economy is still nascent in Finland.

The other themes of the first master course were the digitalization’s effects on the sote work (the work in social and health care reform), the boundaries and blurred boundaries of work in the future economy, and income distribution in the future.

The recording and discussions of the course (in Finnish) are available here:

The following courses are arranged on 20th of March (Young people on the verge of work), on 27th of March (Work teaches) and on 10th of April (Work, society and well-being). In addition to enrolling and participating on a course, it is possible to follow the discussion through real time streams or through recordings, that are added to the website afterwards. The courses are held in Finnish.