Jobs in education, health and care, key to tackling the economic crisis: WEF

The generation of jobs in education, health and care it could be the engine of social mobility and post-covid recovery. A projection of World Economic Forum (WEF, for its acronym in English) points out that investing 1.3 billion in these sectors by 2030 would create 10 million jobs additional in the social sector and close to 1 million in others.

in the report Jobs of tomorrow: The triple payoff of social jobs in economic recovery the organism indicates that, in addition, there is a world deficit of that kind of work. Once again, the pandemic made it clear how important people who are dedicated to health, education and care are, and also that in the face of a crisis like the one we are experiencing, it is necessary to bring technology closer to them.

By 2030, in less than eight years, the world population will reach 8.5 billion people, so we will need basic services “that guarantee a decent life”. Jobs in those three sectors already account for nearly 23% of the workforce in advanced economies, the document indicates.

“However, there is a current shortage of needed workers.” But it is not about creating jobs for the sake of creating jobs, but about guaranteeing those who already work in these sectors, and those who will join, “fair working conditions and good salaries.

For the investigation, the WEF used the United States economy as a case study and found that for every dollar of investment there would be “a multiplier effect of 2.3 times.” So, if $1.3 trillion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yield is spent on boosting jobs in this sector, the return would be $3.1 trillion.

In which areas to invest?

The WEF report focuses on the most strategic social areas to meet the needs of the population. In general terms, the jobs he identified as essential are:

  • Education
  • Medical and health services
  • Welfare and social work services
  • Personal care
  • Wellness and care services
  • Employment, education and training services

The way these jobs are done today is not how they will be done in the future, says the WEF. “Enhanced with technology and other skills, they have the potential to raise the standard of living for both workers and those receiving services.”

And actually the investment in technology has been happening. Some estimates suggest that more than 60,000 million were invested in education and health in 2020 worldwide, the pandemic was the great driver of this. But now it is necessary to “invest in people”, says the agency.

To do this, it recommends that governments and companies increase spending on child care, meet the demand for health care and accelerate investments in technologies related to the future of work.

In the educational field, “there is a crucial need to increase investments to prepare our Educational systems”. The more students per teacher there are, the greater the workload for teachers. Serving too large groups “can reduce the quality of education.”

about the work in the health sector, “The pandemic showed how crucial efficient health systems are to improving the resilience of our economies and societies.” But due to a lack of investment, in 2030 the world will have a financial gap in this sphere of more than 176,000 million dollars, according to the report.

And although it is one of the sectors with the highest employment worldwide, in 83 countries there are barely 23 health professionals for every 10,000 inhabitants. More spending is required, but also better targeted, says the WEF.

Finally, increased investment to provide universal access to child care services quality, affordable care could be “a powerful equalizer of opportunity for both children from disadvantaged backgrounds and women who take on a disproportionate share of unpaid care work.” That way it also “has the potential to reduce gender inequality.”

In Mexico and the world, the report highlights, “women continue to be the main caregivers of young children,” which limits good job opportunities. “Facilitating access to child care for all children can address inequality at an early age, setting people up for a more equitable lifetime of opportunity and development, and can generate significant returns on investment” in human capital.

The non-parental child care, that is, by professional people, has been correlated with children’s cognitive and language development “for disadvantaged children”. This “can bridge the gap between privileged and disadvantaged children,” she says.

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