Implications of technological change and austerity for employability in urban labour markets

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Abstract

Over the last decade two key changes affecting employability, labour market operation and policy delivery are austerity and the expansion of the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially web-based technologies. Increasingly, given pressures for cost savings and developments in ICT, employers? recruitment and selection strategies are at least partly web-based, careers guidance and public employment services are moving towards ?digital by default? delivery and job seekers are expected to manage their job search activity and benefit claims electronically. So, what are the implications of austerity and technological change for employability? This article presents a critical review of the literature on ICT and its relation to, and implications for, employability in a context of austerity. A new framework for employability is presented and those aspects of employability where ICT plays a key role are highlighted. It is concluded that in the context of austerity and technological change more is demanded of individual job seekers/workers, as they are expected to take greater responsibility for their marketability in the labour market. This means that individuals? attributes and skills are of enhanced importance in conceptualisations of employability. ICT skills have a key role to play in employability, but not at the expense of more conventional social skills which remain very important alongside digital literacy.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Volume54
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2016