OSKA trend cards

The evolution of the coming decade’s work landscape is shaped by the confluence of five Macrotrends. These are digital transition, green transition, globalisation, demographic change and changing values.

OSKA’s trend cards address the impact of these trends, particularly on the world of work, but also on education, the economy and society in general.

Looking at the impact of Macrotrends on the workforce and jobs, it is clear that the future workforce must be prepared to learn and retrain on an ongoing basis, with general digital and environmental knowledge becoming indispensable. Alongside specialist professional skills, generic skills such as communication, negotiation and teamwork are increasingly valued.

The green transition brings with it a shift of jobs from one sector to another (e.g. from oil and gas to renewable energy), but also a growing demand for occupations currently in decline (e.g. personal and household repair workers, machinery and equipment repair workers, material sorters, etc.). The digital transition is accompanied by the loss of some occupations and the creation of others – jobs of a more routine nature are disappearing, while jobs related to technology development and deployment are gaining ground.

Demographic changes like stabilisation of the world population, ageing, migraton, are having major impact on the world of work.

Globalisation means that competition for labour is no longer national but global. The growth of remote and hybrid work broadens both the choice of suitable workforce and of employment.

Changing values, however, will very much determine how the above-mentioned trends manifest themselves and develop. For example, if environmental sustainability does not gain widespread acceptance into people’s value systems, it will also affect the way in which green trends develop. Changes in value systems generally take place over time and their progression may not be linear.

A full overview of future trends, in the format of trend cards, is published on the OSKA website, with a short overview available in print.

Our trend cards have been prepared using the research and analysis of experts and think-tanks from around the world, reviews prepared by international organisations and research and consultancy firms, and both Estonian and international development and vision documents. In addition, previous OSKA labour force and skill requirement studies were used.

The aim of the review is to provide support for individual workers, as well as for decision-makers and policymakers, in order to help them shape the conditions for mitigating or balancing risks and to leverage potential positive opportunities.

The trend cards were completed in the end of 2021.