The Words ‘Menial Job’ No Longer Apply in a Digital World
By Andrea Wahbe on May 23, 2012 / Categories: Blog, Digital, Ontario
During the “Access to Talent” stream breakout sessions at CDMN Canada 3.0 2012, delegates discussed the need to equip Canadian students and workers with the digital skills required for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. The Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC) just released a new report entitled “Menial No More: A Discussion Paper on Advancing our Workforce through Digital Skills” which supports the Canada 3.0 2012 digital talent stream priorities.
The OLC report indicates that there are currently 1 million adults in Ontario who do not have a high school diploma. Many of these adults are employed in what used to be considered “low-skilled” occupations such as manufacturing, retail, and food processing/services. However, the current economy and new “digital skills” requirements are drawing more college and university-level graduates to fulfill the new roles and responsibilities required for these once considered “menial jobs.”
“For instance, coffee shop baristas no longer just serve coffee, but troubleshoot the Wi-Fi; and hotel room attendants are now often required to operate personal digital while cleaning rooms,” explains the OLC. “As a result of emerging technology, consumer expectations, and increased global competition, jobs perceived as ‘low-skilled’ or ‘entry level’ need new kinds of skills – and Ontario’s economy may depend on our ability to train current and future workers in these types of positions.”
What the report suggests is that we need to re-think the range of skills and abilities required for jobs that once required low-educational achievement – possibly changing the game for low-skilled positions forever. “In sum, jobs previously described as menial – are menial no more,” says the OLC.
Click here to download the full OLC discussion paper. In addition, download the CDMN Canada 3.0 2012 report for highlights from conversations regarding digital talent/skills challenges and advancements in Canada.