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The case study examined the consequences of changes in CNC technology. According to the report from the German Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the jobs of skilled workers in metalworking trades fundamentally changed with the introduction of CNC machines: These machines required different skills and knowledge than traditional milling machines and lathes. Consequently, vocational training was adapted to keep up with this development. The IBA’s case study showed that the effect on the risk of unemployment for skilled workers trained on the old machines was relatively low. Although they suffered loss of income over the long term, the fall was only moderate. The IBA concludes that lifelong learning and continuous training will become increasingly important in the future.

A brochure from the Bavarian Chambers of Industry and Commerce, for example, sets out how this might work, with tips and best practices for employing older workers in the digital world of work. It aims to help companies “design work and career profiles in a way that is appropriate to a person’s age”.