Skilled work is not a new phenomenon. From the history, we can read that some people had special skills. For instance, building skills have been important through the history. Some kind of skills were important years back. Today we may not need those skills any more. The pictures (above and under) give examples of tools that are not needed any more in Norway. The skills needed for making these kind of tools are dying.
On the other end of the scale, we can find that robots now do what skilled workers used to do. Now the skilled worker is the one that program the robot.
In some parts of the world, the most significant trend involves robotics, artificial intelligence and software. This kind of robots will do most current jobs. Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025. New digital businesses require less labor, and machines will make sense of data faster than humans can. (Director Peter Sondergaard, Gardner.).
The terms "skilled worker," "craftsman," "artisan," and "tradesman" were used in senses that overlap. All describe people with specialized training in the skills needed for a particular kind of work. Some of them produced goods that they sold from their own premises (e.g., bootmakers, saddlers, hatmakers, jewelers, glassblowers); others (e.g., typesetters, bookbinders, wheelwrights) were employed to do one part of the production in a business that required a variety of skilled workers. Still others were factory hands who had become experts in some complex part of the process and could command high wages and steady employment. Skilled workers in the building trades (e.g., carpenters, masons, plumbers, painters, plasterers, glaziers) were also referred to by one or another of these terms (Sally Mitchel: Daily Life in Victorian England, 2nd Edition, 2009).
For the future, many of the skilled workers will be the one that control and program the robots that do the work that they did before. Will we still use the terms "skilled worker," "craftsman," "artisan," and "tradesman" when we talk about them?