A study published by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Nuffield Foundation has suggested that employers must invest in skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
The study – which reviewed the skills that employers are likely to need in the next 10 to 15 years – revealed that people who work in “low-skilled” roles are at risk of seeing their jobs fall to automation. At the same time, it referenced the existing shift towards automation in the EU, where 1.5 percent of traditional labour activities have already been replaced by automated processes.
The research marks the first of a series of reports across a five-year programme designed to anticipate the needs of employers and the supply of skilled workers up until 2035. The Skills Imperative 2035: Essential skills for tomorrow’s workforce will try to pinpoint the gaps in skills, training and attainment by current and future workforces, and consider the adaptions necessary for the education system to provide skilled workers of the future.
Cheryl Lloyd, Education Programme Head at the Nuffield Foundation said: ‘When it comes to employment skills, the evidence reviewed in this study identifies problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills as being critical in the future labour market. But it’s also clear that we lack a plan for how to systematically equip people with those skills. That’s why the NFER’s Skills Imperative 2035 programme is so essential – we need to address these questions about education, skills and work to ensure that all young people have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.’
The Worker Union Says…
Equipping working people with the skills they need to embrace the future is a must in our ever-changing world. This organisation has spoken many times of the importance of reframing the idea of education to accommodate the pace of technological change.
That means focusing on the development of logical, interrogative and thinking skills alongside greater digital literacy. It means encouraging a mindset of innovation, rather than a top-down approach to corporate activity. But it also means taking measures to ensure that nobody gets left behind in the great transformation. This is one of the major ethical dilemmas of the age, that cannot be simply left to the market to resolve. We must act to ensure that the social and economic fabric – so often a reflection of the prevailing ethos of its time – works well everyone, not just a chosen few.