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Changing employment scenarios

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 5 Luglio 2002

The landscape of employment is rapidly changing. The “dot” generation, made up of people who are currently in their twenties, is now entering the labour market, making it necessary to redesign industrial relations strategies which have so far been crystallised around given characteristics. The young are less willing than their predecessors to accept long shifts of work, and less attracted to “employment for life”. The current difficulty in finding able co-workers probably arises from this transitional situation, in which retiring professionals are replaced by young people with definitely different characteristics and expectations. At a recent conference discussing new professional scenarios, Lyndall De Marco of Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts stated that “employment opportunities in the hospitality industry are now viewed as steps of a lifelong learning process”, and Alain Schuder of Hyatt International added: “Our task is that of developing co-workers on the basis of skills, by offering careers rather than just jobs, in an environment that revolves around learning”. These two statements are probably going to be at the centre of the future scenario for human resources; the traditional approach will have to yield to a new and more open attitude, by taking advantage of new technologies and outsourced professional skills; the industry will have to change both its perception and its attitude to co-workers from the “low cost / low value” paradigm to “good co-workers for good jobs”. Professional development programmes are becoming and integral part of industrial relations, and – among its various tasks – managers will have to find an innovative response to the need of measuring the return of investing in co-workers’ training.

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