The future workforce (it’s not robots, it’s humans!) #CIPDMAP17

“The future of work is brighter than conventional wisdom suggestions it is not going to be humans v machines”

There is a spotlight on the future of the world of work and a large part of this relates to the world of education and it is anything but child’s play!

This truly inspiring session was delivered by Matthew Crawford and Sarah Armitage from the Federation of Schools.

Take yourself back to your 6 year old self; what did you want to be when you grew up? We watched a fantastic interview with children telling us what skills they thought they needed for the profession they desired; traditional answers were there, police officer and doctor were mentioned and team work was something they thought was particularly important to those roles.

The future workforce and what we know about it is purely guesswork, we have no idea what it looks like so it places even more importance upon how we act now which will in turn shape the future workforce and our organisations.

The challenge is shaping this to be able to work for us, technology is playing a pivotal role in the direction it takes which is already visible within the automotive industry. Expectations, accountability, innovation, flexibility and lifelong learning were words frequently heard around the room as we discussed which parts employers and future employees both have a part to play on.

Key skills that are foreseen as a requirement were discussed at length again with technology having a significant part to play; communication away from a screen was a popular point alongside programming, cyber security, analytics and emotional intelligence were also seen as desirable requirements in the future world of work. The emphasis upon ownership of our own development and teaching people how to learn independently.

The links of vision and values are equally important in the education sector as they are in a traditional corporate environment despite preconceptions. The changing environment means that our schools are having to react faster to maintain pace in order to remain relevant, whilst many would see this as a never-ending story; Matthew and Sarah positively presented it as an opportunity, simply keeping the vision and values at the heart as opposed to them being a tick box.

By living their core beliefs and values, they are able to provide children the opportunity to not only learn but also to aspire and to fully experience life outside of the classroom which enables them to succeed.

When it comes to the team and motivating employees; it is all about collaboration. Supplying  a 10 year career plan, continuing CPD and wellbeing are focus points to ensure they get the best from their people thus providing the best possible education to their pupils.

There is the need for businesses and education to work hand in hand, as Sarah rightly points out, we are all in this together. There are transferrable skills that we can all use that will help support bridging the gap between education and the world of work, with different generations comes different expectations. Self belief and confidence have a huge impact across all of those so forming good relationships and setting expectations are critical.

I will leave you with the highlight of my day so far, during the video interview with the children, the question “Will robots ever replace teachers?” was asked to two young pupils, a young girl speaks directly to the camera and wisely says “no, robots don’t have the way to inspire people like humans can” demonstrating that even little people understand the importance of the need to remain human.

So what could you do? Get in touch with your local schools and see where you can add value, we all have relevant skills to share, we can all help shape the future.

 

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