Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To eliminate the need for skilled labor in (an industry), especially by the introduction of high technology.
  • transitive v. To downgrade (a job or occupation) from a skilled to a semiskilled or unskilled position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To redesign (a job) so that less skill is required to carry it out, for example through the introduction of new technology.
  • v. To change the role of (workers) so that they are no longer required or able to use the skills that they have acquired.

Etymologies

This combination of de- + skill conveys a pejorative connotation that "simplify" lacks. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What I found far less persuasive was his implication that numerical control, and automation in general, almost inevitably oppress and "deskill" the work force.

    An Exchange on Automation

  • "We felt the umpires would get to a position where they'd check all their decisions; we could unintentionally deskill umpires over time."

    Technology Catches Up With Cricket

  • However, it can also deskill by transferring human knowledge to software packages that workers must then follow (thus also enabling more offshore outsourcing).

    Yes, today's workers have less freedom, but it's not all grim

  • The philosophy at Colorado has always been to deskill the operator; make the machines do all the thinking.

    Managing New Product and Process Development

  • SECRETARY REICH: The old rules of full capacity don't seem to be directly related any longer to increased employment, because companies are moving toward automation; they're using technology not to reskill and upskill the workers, but to deskill and automate.

    Press Briefing On Base Closings

  • We have seen that the purpose of a job is to deskill people.

    The FASTForward Blog

  • DeMarvelous Carter comes from way out in the middle ranks of the Sithole Regional to defeat de field with delicious deskill.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • And they are trying to deskill and bankrupt Europeans as well.

    Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com

  • The Committee also says that the Government's policies on 1,500 place prisons, clustering and prison workforce modernisation are likely further to deskill the prison officer's role to that of a

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  • At a "trial" held at DC 37 of AFSCME American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sponsored by the Coalition for Public Education forpubliced.org and hosted by Sam Anderson, a noted educational leader dedicated to wresting the school system out of mayoral control, testimony was given by dozens of parents, teachers and concerned educators describing the negative effect the mayor's "educational reform" has produced in what seems to be a part of a nationwide attempt to privatize the public schools, deskill teachers, strip them of their union rights, and firmly establish a two-tier educational system: one for the privileged and one for everyone else.

    Joel Shatzky: Educating for Democracy: The People's Trial of Mayor Bloomberg

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