Lynch outlines workplace-training needs in the ‘new economy’ at international economics meeting

Brandeis Interim President Lisa M. Lynch discussed the impact of technology changes on workplace skills and training at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) policy forum in Paris, France, on Jan. 14.
The OECD is a 34-member international organization that advocates for policies designed to promote growth, education and social welfare issues around the world. The organization also encourages debate in hope of finding solutions to economic problems and driving social, financial and environmental change.
The Jan. 14 forum was held in conjunction with the OECD’s Employment and Labor Ministerial Meeting, which convened ministers and senior officials from more than 40 countries to discuss how to build more resilient and inclusive labor markets in light of the recent global economic crisis and workplace changes driven by demographic shifts, technological change and globalization.
In her remarks, Lynch focused on the importance of recognizing that information technology is not the only disruptor of the economy. “Globalization, an aging workforce, and changing work organization, including the increased use of subcontracting and third party employment brokers, together have disrupted the effectiveness of traditional workplace practices and government policy to support skills development,” said Lynch, who is also the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis. “We need to reimagine lifelong learning and the specific roles and responsibilities of workers, educational and training institutions, employers and government to support skills development in the so called ‘new economy.’”
Lynch’s co-panelists were Janina Kugel, chief human resources officer and member of the managing board, Siemens AG; Jacques van den Broek, CEO and chairman of the executive board, Randstad Holding NV; and William Spriggs, chief economist, AFL-CIO and TUAC.
An economist by training, Lynch served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton administration (1995-1997) and as director, chair and deputy chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (2004-2009). She has published extensively on the impact of technological change and organizational innovation (especially training) on productivity and wages, the determinants of youth unemployment, and the school-to-work transition.

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