OECD: Countries must prepare citizens for digital future

13 Mar 19

Governments around the world need to step up efforts to prepare people and policies for a digital world if they want their economies to benefit from advancements, the OECD has urged.

The ‘digital transformation’ of economies and societies presents a training challenge, as only 31% of adults globally have the sufficient problem-solving skills to “succeed in the digital world”, the OECD said yesterday.

The Paris-based organisation called for governments to invest in training and education as well as to address online privacy issues and mental health impacts, such as the results of cyberbullying.

OECD secretary general Angel Gurría said: “[The digital transformation] is redefining social and economic interactions; it is raising concerns about jobs, skills, privacy and security.

“And it is testing our policy frameworks as we try to balance innovations that can greatly improve people’s well-being with many other concerns involving privacy, security, competition or equality, to mention just a few.”

He added that governments “have the responsibility to get the digital transformation right” to improve people’s lives.

Digital transformation is also changing the labour market. The OECD estimates that automation will affect almost half of all jobs in the future.

The data, presented in Paris on Tuesday, revealed that the internet is growing so fast that by 2022, three devices will be connected for every person in the world.

However, technology is still not available to everyone and many people do not have fast fibre connection in rural areas. the OECD noted. 

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