Which drivers of change will affect their skills?
A dramatic demographic change will affect the client group served by personal service workers. Over the next decade, Europe will face the effects of an ageing population. The 65+ age group will increase by 18.5% by 2025.  In comparison, the overall European population will increase by only 1.5% during the same period. New products, services and business models will emerge as a result of rising needs of an older society  and this will be especially true for personal service workers. In addition, the nature of medical and psychological conditions of patients/clients will change as life expectancy increases.  Relevant services will need to adjust to accommodate: the workforce must meet the demand for certain skills (e.g. caretaking and cleaning) that will become increasingly important, and businesses may be able to tailor particular services to tap into new markets (e.g. senior tourism ).
Developments in tourism will affect the skills profile of respective personal services workers. Social trends and changing attitudes towards people with disabilities will boost accessible tourism , where personal service workers can be widely employed. According to the European Commission, employees should be trained to have, among others knowledge of disabilities /types of disability and access requirements, principles of effective customer service, recognising and responding appropriately to people using personal supports and service animals and assistive technology . Stronger market segmentation will continue affecting jobs and skills of relevant occupations. For example, the tourism industry includes elderly tourism, LGBT  tourism, ecotourism, agritourism, culinary tourism etc. In turn, workers will need to diversify their skills accordingly.
NGO & travel agency “Premiki” has placed offering tourism products to “everyone” at the heart of its business. The concept encompasses that regardless of physical or mental limitation people shouldn’t be prevented from being able to travel to the place they desire. To accomplish its mission, Premiki offers accessible travel products, certifies touristic facilities which are “disability friendly”, and provide trainings to tourism professionals on accessible tourism. Through creating supply to meet the increasing demand, Premiki has successfully provided services in its native Slovenia and internationally.
Source: Wei F. (2012) Compendium of Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism Prepared for United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Protective service workers’ skills are being shaped by the effects of greater tension in the political landscape. Over the past fifteen years, a number of terrorist attacks have taken place in countries across Europe. According to some estimates, counter-terrorism spending in EU has increased by more than 160% between 2006 and 2011.  As a consequence, improving security and intelligence systems in patrolling and protecting public areas to prevent or tackle these threats have risen in the agenda. A higher demand for skills related to surveillance (e.g. CCTV ), policing, and other protective services is therefore likely.
Both personal and protective service workers include occupations with relatively high level of routine tasks – therefore, they are highly prone to partial replacement by automation. Overall, technological developments will significantly shape jobs and skills in both groups. Technological developments in the security sector (e.g. more widespread use of CCTV, automated security systems in intelligent buildings and increase use of robots  and drones)  may decrease the demand for security guards and related jobs. For personal service workers, robots have been already developed with the foreseen capacity to support clients in museums, as tourist guides etc. . But at the same time, as criminal actions increasingly spread into the digital world, rising demand can be expected for high-skilled professionals, who can handle security risks of physical damages, caused by remote interference (such as hijacking of driverless car or drone, hacking corporate ventilation systems or attempt to take over the control of a power plant. ).
- Although no major changes are foreseen in employment levels of personal and protective service workers, their job content and thus skill needs can be expected to change. Skills development and upgrade will be important to find and sustain jobs in these occupations.
- Soft skills, such as communication skills, problem solving, teamwork skills, cultural awareness, courtesy and responsibility are all pivotal in making a difference for the customer, therefore providing a competitive edge for businesses. At the same time, these skills could prove particularly important for personal and protective services workers whose jobs are more prone to including automated technological applications.
- Special consideration for ICT literacy would be important, as technological advancements are expected in both occupations.
- Especially for personal service workers, and depending on the job role, skills need to be adjusted to the needs of specific user groups, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
- Risk of automation: As a part of its Digitalisation and future of work project, Cedefop estimates the risks of automation for occupations. The most exposed occupations are those with significant share of tasks that can be automated – operation of specialised technical equipment, routine or non-autonomous tasks – and those with a small reliance on communication, collaboration, critical thinking and customer-serving skills. The risk of automation is further accentuated in occupations where employees report little access to professional training that could help them to cope with labour market changes. Personal and protective services workers are reportedly an occupation with low risk of automation.