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SkillScale: Understanding Emerging Skills and Occupations in the Future of Work

SkillScale: Understanding Emerging Skills and Occupations in the Future of Work


A micro-documentary about the Skill Scale Project produced by Oxford Sparks.

The global workforce is urged to constantly reskill, as technology tremendously changes our labour market. But despite recurring fears of mass unemployment, current literature suggests that the (digital) “technology revolution” tends to mainly automate specific tasks rather than entire occupations. Some occupations will disappear but more importantly the remaining ones will change, and entirely new jobs will emerge. In this process, the skill composition of professions changes. The work that is eliminated has different skill requirements than the newly created jobs, resulting in the paradoxical situation of simultaneous unemployment and labour shortage – the (digital) skill gap widens. In this fast-changing labour market, systemic oversight is key: To understand which skills and occupations are most marketable and have a sustained demand.

The SkillScale project leads into a new domain of labour market research. It showcases how the analysis of online generated labour market data can help us understand the relevance of new skills and sustainability of novel occupations. Studying the economic complexity of large-scale data from sources such as digital labour platforms or online job vacancies could enable us to better comprehend how the processes of skill formation leads to the emergence of new occupations. Ultimately, the findings of the project allow us to establish a contemporary taxonomy of skills, understand their application and support automated, individual, and far-sighted suggestions on sustainable reskilling and training in a future of technological disruption.

Key Information

Project dates:
September 2022 - September 2024



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