Press Release

Álvarez-Pallete: 'Reskilling and technology are part of the solution to the problem of inequality'

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2023

This is an automated translation of the release originally published in Spanish.

By Telefónica

Davos, January 18, 2023. The Chairman of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, stressed during his speech at the Davos Economic Forum, where he participated today in a panel entitled 'The future of work', that "inequality it is the greatest challenge” that society faces in the change of era that digital transformation brings with it. Faced with this problem, he stressed that "requalification and technology are part of the solution."

Álvarez-Pallete emphasized that "aid is necessary to correct inequality, but fundamentally skills are needed." To do this, it has demanded the need to apply technology to promote a massive requalification that allows the jobs that remain vacant to be filled while, in parallel, society continues to register millions of unemployed. "This situation responds to the fact that people do not have the skills that are in demand," he warned.

Reskilling will help to overcome the impact that technology and automation are having on the labor market, while at the same time allowing new job opportunities that the digital and ecological transition is generating. Having digital skills and abilities to meet the new profiles demanded in the technological revolution, on the one hand, and fighting against the obsolescence of employee qualifications, on the other, will be decisive in combating inequality and advocating for inclusion. In order to promote lifelong learning and requalification that make it possible to take advantage of the potential that the technological revolution offers, the president of Telefónica has called for "managing the digital transition well."

Lead by example

Álvarez-Pallete has highlighted the fact that Telefónica has been committed to training and employability for years through different initiatives. He highlighted that the company has the largest internal requalification program in Europe in Spain, reflected in the fact that more than 16,000 employees received training last year to update their skills.

He has also referred to the contribution of Fundación Telefónica, which promotes social projects to promote employability. This is the case of Campus 42, a free programming academy based on an innovative methodology where students learn from each other and prepare for the new digital demands of the labor market.

Another way is to integrate forces through public-private collaboration to achieve greater impact and offer more opportunities for continuous learning. He mentioned the 'Reskilling For Employment' case, one of the emblematic projects of the European Round Table (ERT), an organization that brings together the main European companies and in which Álvarez-Pallete chairs the Employability, Skills and Impact Committee.

Among the measures that can allow society to prepare to put the impact of technology in its favor, Álvarez-Pallete has recommended applying technology to education and training, adapting education to the demands of the digital society or promoting a culture of lifelong learning.

“It is necessary to offer our employees training programs adapted to the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy, generate talent and increase the competitiveness of our companies,” he stated.

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