Previous Page An Issue 87.
As technologies and the demand for certain services change, many workers will lose their jobs. The responsibility for those people to adjust to such change should belong to the individual worker, not to government or to business. Question
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and / or examples from your own experience, observations or reading. Analysis
As technology and changing social needs render more and more jobs obsolete, who is responsible for helping displaced workers adjust? While individuals have primary responsibility for learning new skills and finding work, both industry and government have some obligation to provide them the means of doing so.
I agree that individuals must assume primary responsibility for adjusting to job obsolescence especially since our educational system has been preparing us for it. For decades, our schools have been counselling young people to expect and prepare for numerous major career changes during their lives. And concerned educators have recognized and responded to this eventuality with a broader base of practical and theoretical course work that affords students the flexibility to move from one career to another.
However, industry should bear some of the responsibility as well. It is industry, after all, that determines the particular directions technological progress and subsequent social change will take. And since industry is mainly responsible for worker displacement, it has a duty to help displaced workers adjust through such means as on-site training programs and stipends for further education.
Government should also assume some of the responsibility, since it is partly government money that fuels technological progress in industry. Moreover, government should help because it can help-for example, by ensuring that grants and federally insured student loans are available to those who must retool in order to find new work. Government can also help by observing and recording trends in worker displacement and in job opportunities and by providing this information to individuals so that they can make prudent decisions about their own further education and job searches.
In conclusion, while individuals should be prepared for future job changes, both government and industry shoulder obligations to provide training programs funding and information that will help displaced workers successfully retool and find new employment.