ICT platforms connecting people to work will help create a global market of employers and opportunities with proper guidelines that facilitate the creation of right ICT infrastructure, social safety nets and a working financial system, according to the World Bank.
The organisation’s policy note ‘Connecting to Work’ says three trends are clear from the market: greater connectivity with more than 120 countries having 80 percent penetration of mobile phones, digitisation of more aspects of work, and more globalised skills boosting the business processes outsourcing (BPO) industry.
“ICTs are influencing employment both as an industry that creates jobs and as a tool that empowers workers to access new forms of work, in new and more flexible ways,” said Chris Vein, World Bank chief innovation officer for global ICT development.
He added the emerging ICT enabled employment is important as it is helping create more jobs and thus positive economic and social implications for workers and society.
The policy note also said online employment marketplaces are helping an estimated 12 million people worldwide find jobs by connecting them to employers globally and cites various platforms including Babajob in India, Duma and M-Kazi in Kenya.
ICT work platforms, the World Bank adds, has led to new types of employment including online contracting, which has seen the most jobs in the fields of writing, customer service and software development and estimates 2.5 million jobs were posted on these in 2012.
Another type of employment that has grown as a result of the microwork platforms that has broken large business processes into smaller discrete tasks are copywriting, graphic design, data entry and verification which are worth US$1 billion currently.
“Analysts suggest the market size (for microwork platforms) is about US$1 billion today and could grow to US$5 billion by 2018,” the report said.
Under recommendations, the policy note said for the positive impact on employment to be replicated policy makers must create guidelines that facilitate growth of human capital systems, connectivity to ICT, as well as safety nets to cater for the possible negative outcomes.
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