The world is changing at the fastest pace we have ever seen – the so called fourth industrial revolution. In 15 years time when many of our young people, currently at the beginning of their educational journey, will be entering the world of work for the very first time, advances in technology will have significantly changed our working and living environment. For our young people this presents a wealth of opportunity, however, are we preparing them most effectively for this future?
It is often stated that up to half of jobs available for young people in 2030 do not even exist yet. If this really is the case, there is an even greater need to ensure that education provides the transferable knowledge and skills that can be applied to a rapidly changing environment. So, how can this be achieved?
Well, firstly it’s important to recognise that teachers do an incredible job. There are huge pressures within the education system, and it would not be helpful at all to suggest ‘another thing’ which teachers have to dedicate precious time to. At Young Enterprise, a national charity supporting teachers and young people to develop essential skills for life and work, we believe that essential skills can be delivered as part of knowledge-based learning, even enriching existing curriculum content.
Many of the skills which are predicted to be the most in demand in the future focus around interpersonal communications – things such as contributing effectively into a team, developing emotional intelligence, and communication skills. In addition, skills such as resilience, problem solving, and digital competence are also high on employers wish lists.
These are skills which young people are already developing through curriculum learning but may not necessarily be aware they have learnt – knowledge-based learning objectives are routinely displayed in lessons, but rarely do these include associated skills development. That small change alone could significantly improve young people’s awareness of the essential skills they are developing as part of their statutory education.
Learning within school is regularly supported with home learning and development of essential skills is no different. Providing experiences in and around the home that may be more difficult to deliver within school has been proven to positively impact on young people’s outcomes. For example, providing a budget for dinner and allowing the young person to plan, budget, purchase and help prepare the meal supports development of a broad range of essential skills.
Young Enterprise believes firmly in ‘learning by doing’, and our support into schools focuses on programmes which young people can actively participate in. We aim to work in collaboration with teachers, schools and parents, and together we ensure all young people are prepared for future life and work.
About Young Enterprise
- Young Enterprise is a national charity that motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the work skills, knowledge and confidence they need.
- Founded in 1962, Young Enterprise is part of global network JA-YE operating in 120 countries.
- Visit their website for more information on Young Enterprise or email firstname.lastname@example.org