Presented by: Karlis Kanders (Nesta)
COVID-19 has already put a significant number of workers into unemployment, and it is likely to cause further disruption by compounding the impacts of automation. As part of Nesta’s Mapping Career Causeways project, we have developed a novel approach for identifying viable and desirable job transition pathways to more secure employment for workers affected by these labour market disruptions.
More specifically, we combine the information in the US Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and European skills and occupations classification (ESCO) by building the first open, direct crosswalk between both frameworks. With this crosswalk, we translate ratings of task automation, originally developed for the US occupations by Brynjolfsson, Mitchell and Rock (2018), to the European context. We describe the demographic patterns of at-risk workers in the UK, France and Italy, and – by using natural language processing – assess the viability of transitions between over 1,600 occupations based on their skills and experience requirements, work activities and broader interpersonal and physical aspects of work. Finally, we characterise the desirable transition options, skills gaps and effective upskilling opportunities for workers at high risk of automation, and discuss the application of our approach for assessing the potential impact of COVID-19 on at-risk workers and their career pathways.