MDH researcher helps Eskilstuna and Västerås to meet labour market challenges

Jan 21, 2015 | Research/Cooperation

According to a forecast every other job will be automated within 20 years. This means that a lot of jobs in the region will disappear or be transformed. Researcher Eva Lindell at Mälardalen University has been given the task of investigating how the labour market in Södermanland and Västmanland will be affected by this development. The information will be used as a basis for forming strategies for how the counties are to meet the challenges.

According to Arbetsförmedlingen’s (the Swedish Public Employment Service’s) forecast, the manufacturing industry, among others, which is important for the region, will be in the focus of the weakened labour market. The branch as such is increasing at the same time as the number of job opportunities is decreasing, which can affect more branches. At the same time as digitalisation is increasing, so is globalisation too. Companies are moving their operations to other continents where the supply of skills is greater than in our region. The anxiety of losing one’s job is increasing in the whole of Europe, and low-skilled people, young people, immigrants and women are particularly vulnerable.

To be prepared for the future, Västerås City and Eskilstuna Municipality are now to enlist the help of researcher Eva Lindell. In the one-year project The Labour Market of the Future she will produce information about how the labour market in the region is being affected by digitalisation and globalisation.

- The idea is that the reports produced in the project are to be used as a basis for discussions about labour market issues with officials and politicians in Södermanland and Västmanland. We need to get answers to how we can meet the challenges in the labour market of the future, says Eva Lindell.

In Västerås City people are positive towards the collaboration with Mälardalen University.

- We are aware that a restructuring of the labour market is taking place in our region. These are complicated issues and we need to get information to be able to understand and to adapt ourselves to what is happening. The research project will provide us with a basis for taking wise decisions and this I believe will contribute towards competitive advantages for both Västerås City and Eskilstuna Municipality, says Ylva Wretås, strategist at Västerås City.

Research into a sustainable society

The Labour Market of the Future project comes within the scope of the Social Contract, which is a joint platform for cooperation. The Social Contract has been conducted since 2009 by MDH, Eskilstuna Municipality, Västerås City, the County Council of Södermanland and the County Council of Västmanland.