Minister Lindström: policy measures must be revised to better respond to the needs of future labour markets

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 5.9.2016 13.00
Press release

“Our labour markets are affected by globalization, demographic and technological changes. New opportunities should be taken advantage of while also making sure that no one is left behind. Social justice and decent work must be promoted,” said Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström in his opening speech at a Nordic-themed conference entitled ‘The Future of Work’, in Helsinki on 5 September 2016.

The purpose of the conference is to provide a Nordic perspective on the global discussion initiated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning the opportunities and challenges created by globalization, technological changes and new forms of employment in the global and Nordic context.

“Many businesses and workplaces are relocating, too. Some are closing down, but at the same time new businesses and job opportunities are being created. Technological changes allow us to lower the threshold for becoming self-employed and engaging in entrepreneurship,” explained Minister Lindström.

Minister Lindström also emphasized the need to ensure that legislation responds to the changes.

“Current legislation should be updated to better respond to the requirements of the new forms of work. Our education and vocational training policies should also be adapted to the changing needs of employers and employees.  While anticipation of future changes has become more difficult, it is at the same time more and more crucial for the successful planning of government interventions,” Minister Lindström said.

Minister Lindström also asserted that gender equality at work is an important issue. He stressed the significance of international labour standards in this field.  

“The promotion of equal pay and non-discrimination remain topical issues. Gender equality at work is one of the topics where the work of the ILO can make a real difference. The equality of women and men must be improved as a cross-cutting theme across all activities,” said Minister Lindström.

“The ILO is the oldest specialised agency of the United Nations and will celebrate its centenary in 2019. Right from the very start the preparation and promotion of international labour standards was seen as important. There was a fear that without universal labour standards countries with decent social and labour standards would be economically disadvantaged. International labour standards, in particular the core labour standards, covering freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, equal opportunities at work and prohibition of forced and child labour, remain highly relevant even in today’s global commodity and labour markets,” Minister Lindström continued.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as part of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Experts from the ILO, Nordic researchers, civil servants and representatives of social partners were invited to the conference.

Further information:
Ms Liisa Heinonen, Ministerial Counsellor, tel. +358 29 50 64131