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Twenty-First Century Digital Transformation of Work and Jobs in Northern Saskatchewan

Date

2016-12-19

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ORCID

0000-0002-2602-9114

Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

The proliferation of digital technologies that replicate human abilities, behaviors and intelligence throughout the second decade of the twenty-first century are transforming work and jobs in many different sectors in the international economy. Human workers are competing against smarter and more capable digital machines for an increasing number of tasks and jobs. The emergence of advanced digital machines challenges policy makers and governments to rethink traditional education and workforce training models and consider new innovative responses for work and jobs in the digital age. Mining operations in northern Saskatchewan use digital technologies to increase productivity, enhance worker safety and lower production costs. New and emerging digital technologies are present in the northern Saskatchewan minerals sector, like exploration drones, advanced computer systems and automated machines are helping mining companies to regain or sustain competitiveness in difficult economic conditions marked by low commodity prices and uncertainty. Digital technologies have also contributed to the job displacement of Aboriginal workers in jobs requiring ordinary skills and education. Northern Saskatchewan’s remoteness and poor internet connectivity have not prevented the digital transformation of work or jobs in the region. This thesis examines the potential impact of fewer jobs caused by the digitization of work in the northern Saskatchewan resource economy by structuring the policy problem, assessing the impact on Aboriginal workers and evaluating the preparedness of provincial institutions and programs for education and training. An extensive literature review informed the research questions and methods. Primary data was collected through surveys and key informant interviews with senior officials in the Saskatchewan Government, post-secondary institutions, provincially funded institutions and northern mining companies.

Description

Keywords

Digitization of work, digital job displacement, Northern Saskatchewan, Digital economy

Citation

Degree

Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)

Department

Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

Program

Public Policy

Advisor

Citation

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