Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Nokia Plans to Cut Jobs, Says Slow 5G Progress Not Cause For Layoffs

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Nokia currently employs 100,000 people worldwide, 6,000 of them in Finland

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Nokia
Nokia to cut jobs, says slow 5G progress not cause for layoffs.

Finnish telecommunication giant Nokia on Tuesday announced its plans to cut jobs, media reported.

Nokia gave 350 as a layoff target in Finland, and said the figures in France and Germany would be higher, but did not specify.

However, the company denied that the cuts would be related to the slower than expected launch of 5G technology, Xinhua news agency reported.

Instead, the aim is to make operations more efficient as the consolidation after the purchase of the French Alcatel-Lucent has been completed.

Tommi Uitto, director in charge of Nokia’s operations in Finland, said the changes are “necessary”. The cutbacks are part of 700-million-euro (about $798.7 million) savings announced in October 2018. Thereafter Marc Rouanne, one of the key directors, left the company.

In line with the government's Digital India programme, Nokia on Wednesday launched a "Smartpur" digital village project with the aim of developing 500 digitally integrated villages across the country in five years.
Nokia gave 350 as a layoff target in Finland, and said the figures in France and Germany would be higher, but did not specify. Pixabay

In France, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) accused Nokia on Tuesday of attempting to improve profitability through shifting work to countries where labour costs are lower than in France.

Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat quoted the union as saying that Nokia has broken its 2016 promise to the then finance minister Emmanuel Macron that staff size at Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs would remain at 4,200 for two years.

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CGT claimed that Nokia had also broken its pledge to employ 2,500 new staffers in research and development. Helsingin Sanomat economics writer Petri Sajari said the French unions could turn the Nokia cutbacks against President Macron.

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Nokia currently employs 100,000 people worldwide, 6,000 of them in Finland. (IANS)

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Most of 2030’s Jobs Haven’t Been Invented Yet

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

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JOBS
In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

More than two-thirds of jobs that today’s college students will have in 11 years haven’t been invented yet.

“Those who plan to work for the next 50 years, they have to have a mindset of like, ‘I’m going to be working and learning and working and learning, and working and learning,’ in order to make a career,” says Rachel Maguire, a research director with the Institute for the Future, which forecasts that 85 percent of the jobs that today’s young people will hold in 2030 don’t exist right now.

The Institute for the Future, a nonprofit that identities emerging trends and their impacts on global society, envisions that by 2030, we’ll be living in a world where artificial assistants help us with almost every task, not unlike the way email tries to finish spelling a word for users today.

Maguire says it will be like having an assistant working alongside you, taking on tasks at which the human brain does not excel.

“For the human, for the people who are digitally literate who are able to take advantage, they’ll be well-positioned to elevate their position, elevate the kind of work they can do, because they’ve got essentially an orchestra of digital technologies that they’re conducting,” she says. “They’re just playing the role of a conductor, but the work’s being done, at least in partnership, with these machines.”

New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner's respective strengths.
New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner’s respective strengths. VOA

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says today’s students will have eight to 10 jobs by the time they are 38.

And they won’t necessarily have to take time away from any one of those jobs for workforce training or to gain additional certifications related to their fields. Instead, they’ll partner with machines for on-the-job learning, wearing an augmented reality headset that will give them the information they need in real-time to get the work done.

“It eliminates the need for people to step away from income generating opportunities to recertify in order to learn a new skill so they can level up and earn more money,” Maguire says. “It gives the opportunity for people to be able to learn those kinds of new skills and demonstrate proficiency in-the-moment at the job.”

Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com)
Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com) VOA

And forget about traditional human resources departments or the daunting task of looking for a job on your own. In the future, the job might come to you.

Potential employers will draw from different data sources, including online business profiles and social media streams, to get a sense of a person and their skill set.

Maquire says there’s already a lot of activity around turning employment into a matchmaking endeavor, using artificial intelligence and deep learning to help the right person and the right job find each other.

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

“We have to be cognizant that the people who are building these tools aren’t informing these tools with their own biases, whether they’re intentional or not,” Maguire says. “These systems will only be as good as the data that feeds them.”

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Which leads Maguire to another point. While she doesn’t want to sound melodramatic or evangelical about emerging technologies, she believes it is critical for the public to get engaged now, rather than sitting back and letting technology happen to them.

“What do we want from these new technological capabilities, and how do we make sure we put in place the social policies and the social systems that will result in what it is we all want?” she says. “I have a deep concern that we’re just kind of sitting back and letting technology tell us what jobs we’ll have and what jobs we won’t have, rather than us figuring out how to apply these technologies to improve the human condition.” (VOA)