Changing the way we work?

28 October 2011

The House of Lords debated the current employment situation and consider long-term strategies on Thursday 27 October.

Members of the House of Lords including several current and former spokespeople for employment and skills, a former Trustee of the Employment Policy Institute and a former Professor at the London School of Economics discussed how the world of employment has and continues to change.

Baroness Prosser (Labour), who tabled and opened the debate, said:

“The world of employment has changed profoundly during the past 30 years, as advancing technology has brought both reduced and boosted employment – it has merely shifted the need for workers away from certain industries and into others.

“But now changes to the labour market are once again threatening to make a whole new generation of workers redundant, whether that be through too much emphasis being placed on higher education and not enough on vocational training, or simply through a lack of availability of jobs for the diverse workforce we have available to us.  We must also expand our horizons to encompass new and emerging economies, not only those in North America and Western Europe, to ensure we are not overtaken by the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“I have called this debate in order to take a strategic look at the long-term options we could employ to address the current situation; one that that affects not only employment but the economy, education, welfare and services as well.”

Other Members who took part included:

Baroness Randerson (Liberal Democrat), Lord Collins of Highbury (Labour), Lord Kestenbaum (Labour), Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat), Baroness Gould of Potternewton (Labour) and Baroness Wheeler (Labour) also contributed to the debate.

Lord Campbell of Alloway (Conservative), spoke in the gap. Members of the Lords can rise to speak briefly 'in the gap' between the last backbench speaker to take part in the debate and the winding up speeches from the front benches. 

Baroness Wilcox (Conservative) responded on behalf of the government.

Further information

Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

Image: iStockphoto

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