Ivanka faces backlash over ‘future of work’ speech
A WOMAN famous for getting a job through her father addressed the world's biggest technology conference on "the future of work" today, amid huge outcry and crowds just as large.
Ivanka Trump, who serves as an unpaid senior adviser to her father, US President Donald Trump, addressed more than 1500 people on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in a move widely criticised as a political appointment and an example of a "token woman" in tech.
But Ms Trump used the unexpected platform to propose that all employment and government education records be carried around in smartphones, and decried employers' reliance on college education, instead calling for more apprenticeships.
The First Daughter appeared alongside Consumer Technology Association chief executive Gary Shapiro at the keynote speech and, in a wide-ranging talk, revealed was in discussions to develop an "interoperable learning record" that would store government and employer data in a single location for all citizens.
Ms Trump said the US Administration had tasked a board to create a so-called "resume of the future" featuring all employee's education records, job skills, and credentials inside a smartphone app.
"Why can't you have your high-school degree verified and in your phone so an employer doesn't need to call your high school and find you graduated?" she said.
"Maybe you learned CPR as a lifeguard. Maybe you learned or got upskilled working on a factory floor. All of that should be catalogued and tracked and accessible and available."
Ms Trump did not reveal whether employers would be able to demand access to the sensitive information, but said the project was "not hard to do, it just hasn't been done".
She also suggested the national database could match employees to jobs within geographic areas, alerting them when there was a vacancy meeting their skill set.
"We're bringing together all the major players and saying how can we help develop and innovate off big government data," she said.
Ms Trump, who graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, also decried employers' insistence on tertiary qualifications, and revealed the US Government planned to launch a national ad campaign for alternative education pathways.
"Tech support, cyber security jobs, not all of them require a bachelor's degree," she told the CES audience.
"We want to celebrate the other pathways that exist, whether it be apprenticeships, whether it be a credential."
While her appearance, shrouded in higher than usual security, went without visible protests, it was criticised by many attendees.
Creative Strategies principal analyst Carolina Milanesi blasted the choice of Ms Trump as a voice for female entrepreneurs, questioning her experience in the technology industry.
"There are many more women who are in tech and are entrepreneurs who could run circles around Trump on how technology will impact the future of work," she said.
Ironically, Ms Trump's own working future remains uncertain, as it depends on her father's impeachment trial and the outcome of the November US presidential election.
Ms Trump was also forced to close her fashion brand in 2018 after it was removed from several stores and faced questions over conditions in Chinese factories.
The Consumer Electronics Show will run throughout the week.