On March 07-08, 2022, a two-day workshop was held online, within the project “The future is now”. The two days of the workshop were open by the project leader SMH, and the lecture on the topics was conducted by the main expert of the project, prof. Dr. Lazar Jovevski.

The project beneficiary opened the workshop and welcomed all participants. After the introductory speech the main expert prof. Lazar Jovevski asked the participants once again to briefly introduce themselves and one participant from each country to present the findings from their own national report and give us short summary of the research, what were the expected resullts, what goals were achieved and what are their future expectations.
Every country expressed their own point of view, discussing both the positive changes and the difficulties that came from the artificial intelligence and digitalization. Many countries expressed their concerns that this process of digitalization is falling behind in their native country. The lack of appropriate legislation, lacking the involvement of workers in the decision – making process, not being informed enough is slowing down this process. Although there are single cases of adopting AI on company level, the systematic transformation is missing.
After the short break there was a presentation about the “Enhancing the cooperation and coordination between the social partners”, all partners agreed that cooperation and coordination between the workers and the employers must improve. The main expert asked the participants what are the best practices in the metal sector that they encountered while preparing the national reports for their country.
On the second day, the expert Jovevski summarized the impressions from the previous day and started the presentation on subject “The structural power of trade unions when it comes to educate, familiarize and prepare workers to better understand the new forms of work”. During this presentation all partners discussed about the conditions in their trade unions, the obstacles they have been facing, especially regarding the AI and digitalization.
Another topic that was discussed during the second day was “The competence and readiness of workers to work in an Industry 4.0 environment and the indicators evaluating the employer’s management strategy regarding digitalisation”.
After the topics, the expert Jovevski started the workshop with asking the partners to answer the following questions “Does digital transformation represents an opportunity, or a challenge, for the metal sector?“, and “Were the various forms of restructuring as a result of AI and other new and emerging technologies beneficial?“.
All of the partners agreed that digital transformation is both opportunity and a challlenge as it is very beneficial for the sector to go through this transformation but it won’t be possible if there is not enough finacial support. Many small businesses won’t be able to digitalise and they will be left behind.
After the successful discussion the workshop was closed by the expert Lazar Jovevski, who summarized everything that was discussed during the two days of the workshop and send his best regards to all partners until the next meeting.

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