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Introduction
Over the last couple of decades
ICT has changed the world of work
beyond recognition. Some
industries have practically ceased
to exist, some have had to change
and adapt to take on board new
technology and some brand new
industries have developed.
Over the next few pages we will be
looking at some examples of how
ICT has brought about changes in a
selection of jobs. We will also look
at some of the benefits and some
of the negative aspects of ICT and
work.
Use the menu on the left hand side
to navigate through the pages.…read more

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Secretarial work ­ 1980'
s
Up until the mid 1980s, when letters or reports
needed to be typed, a typist would use a manual
typewriter.
Each page had to be typed carefully since
mistakes were hard to fix - usually the page
would have to be typed out again.
There were no formatting features - if you
wanted something bold, you had to type over
the same words twice!
Using a typewriter was a skilled job since there
was no room for mistakes! And so each senior
manager had to have a typist available to
produce letters and memos.
Typists would also work in large rooms, such as
the one seen above. They were called the 'typing
pool'.
If anyone needed some work typed, it would be
sent to the typing pool. The work would be
allocated to a typist. It would be typed out and
then returned to the person who requested it.…read more

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Secretarial work ­ Now
With the introduction of ICT, things have changed a lot in this
field.
There are no longer typing pools - they are not needed. Most
people in an organisation do their own typing directly into
their desktop PC. They can made amendments as they go
along, they can use formatting to improve the look of their
document and they can correct mistakes quickly.
Only senior managers in a company might now have a
secretary - but she is more likely to be called a 'Personal
Assistant' and their work is much more varied that just typing.
For example arranging meetings and appointments, making
travel arrangements and so on.
Typing is no longer a specialist skill - you are expected to be
able to type from the day you start work in an office.
As a result of ICT, many typist lost their jobs. Those that
didn't, had to retrain from using the typewriter to being able to
use a PC.…read more

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Accounting
Before the development of ICT accountants would keep track of all financial
records by hand.
They would enter every payment and receipt into a ledger. This was a full time
job for many people.
All calculations had to be performed by hand or by a very cumbersome
mechanical machine - electronic calculators were not invented until the late
70's.
It was easy to make a mistake, to add up something incorrectly or even to
forget to record something.
The introduction of calculators helped to speed up the work involved in
balancing the books and helped reduce some of the mistakes made.
When financial packages and spreadsheets for personal computers came along
around 1978, it transformed the way businesses handled their financial
accounts.
With these changes, the role of Accounting Clark largely disappeared. They now
had to re-train to use the new electronic spreadsheets. The skill of mentally
adding up numbers quickly and accurately was no longer required as the
computer could do this much faster and more reliably.…read more

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Banking
In the past, the only way to withdraw money from your account was to queue
up and wait to speak to a bank teller.
Most workers were paid their wages in cash every week. A lot of workers didn't
need bank accounts as they bought what they needed with cash. This meant
that banks often weren't very busy.
As ICT developed, businesses began to pay salaries directly into a bank account
instead of by cash. Employees had to open bank accounts and visit the bank
every time they wanted to deposit or withdraw money.
This meant that banks became much busier and they had to take on a lot more
staff. This of course cost them a lot of money. They wanted to find a way to
reduce queues and cut down on staff wages.
And so, the Automatic Tellar Machine (ATM) was developed. Customers could
serve themselves. They could withdraw cash, check their balances and order
statements without ever having to speak to a member of staff.
This helped reduce the workload on the 'real' bank tellers, but the popularity of
ATMs has grown so much, that it actually reduced the need for many staff and
led to job losses.…read more

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