Events - 03.05.2018 - 00:00 

Federal Councillor Leuthard on digitisation: "We’ll have to assume responsibility"

Switzerland’s transport minister, Doris Leuthard, gave the inaugural address of the 48th St. Gallen Symposium on the topic of "Beyond the end of work". She painted an optimistic picture of digitisation, but also called for more responsibility on the part of business and politics.
ISC Symposium 2018

3 May 2018. In her speech, which she delivered in English, Federal Councillor Leuthard urged people to be open towards change and called upon them to try out new things. Digitisation, she said, made many things better but of course also had hidden dangers.

According to a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 30 per cent of jobs in the OECD’s member states were being jeopardised by digitisation. Leuthard reminded her audience that business and politics were equally called upon to tackle this challenge, among other things with basic and advanced education and training, in order to make employees fit for the digitised world of work. This would also include the new jobs which would only be created in the wake of radical economic change.

Successful Switzerland

Time and again, said Doris Leuthard, Switzerland proved in the past how well it could deal with such change. She was firmly convinced that we would also master this particular transition and that the companies and government institutions would successfully continue to pursue and implement the necessary measures. Leuthard also said that inclusion was key to mastering the digital world. We would have to look after the losers of digitisation, otherwise there would be conflicts and also protectionism.

Broadly based investments

She added that the typically Swiss vocational training system was also key to a successful transition. Investments would have to be made in this system as well as in academic and executive education. At present, there was an increasing demand for experts in engineering, IT and data analysis. Often, however, enterprises had to rely on foreign specialists because the indigenous system still trained an inadequate number of them.

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