From education to employment

New report calls for greater focus on ‘human talents’ in an increasingly AI world

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Three leading education and training organisations have highlighted the need to embed ‘uniquely human’ abilities into a transformed skills system as technological advancements continue to progress.  

This is one of five policy recommendations set out in a new report, calling for Government to not only make changes, but to do so by empowering others, setting strategy and direction rather than micromanaging the system.

The report – Transforming Skills: A Call to Action – outlines the requirement to equip everyone for a new world of work with skills such as creativity, teamwork, problem solving and leadership, which will become even more important as innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) become mainstream.

Jointly created by Corndel, the Edge Foundation and NCFE, the report outlines challenges and issues but also solutions through a series of policy recommendations, which could unleash a radically transformed skills system. These recommendations include modernising assessment, improving careers guidance, making skills delivery more responsive and agile, and embracing technology for learners and employers.

Writing in the report, James Kelly, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Corndel, Olly Newton, Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, and David Gallagher, Chief Executive of NCFE, collectively voiced their worries for the current system:

“The UK is confronted with a dual skills and labour market crisis that is stifling growth. It has a workforce in need of skills and, in parts of the economy, a scarcity of workers.

“Skills policy can never move people to accept low-paid, unattractive jobs in sectors of acute staffing need. But we argue that a skills system focused on promoting growth and prosperity can play an important role in addressing this crisis. To do so, it should support employers, individuals, and educators to more effectively respond to the enormous challenges our economy is experiencing.

“Transforming Skills sets out a vision for a radically transformed skills system that embeds essential workplace skills, is agile and responsive, and seizes the opportunities opened by data, technology, and AI. The prize is a more productive workforce and a more prosperous economy.”

The UK is facing an existing skills crisis in a rapidly changing world. Research by the Edge Foundation found that three out of five businesses have skills shortages within their organization.

It’s this pressing demand that brought Corndel, the Edge Foundation and NCFE together to create the Transforming Skills report as a bold and exciting vision for post-16 education that’s built on the needs and expectations of learners and employers. Each recommendation has been designed by groups of employers, learners, providers and FE experts to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

The report sets out five bold policy changes for a new Government:

  1. Embedding uniquely humas skills such as creativity, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and leadership in all curricula and assessment to build the human capital required to maximise the technological revolution unfolding in the workplace.
  • Overhauling assessment to holistically assess an individual’s talents in a world where a broad assessment of a learner’s capabilities is a better measure of an individual’s readiness for the world of work than narrow traditional assessment approaches.
  • Enabling learners to make informed choices by taking careers advise seriously and embedding career coaching, guidance and reflection in the curriculum, and guaranteeing that learners enter the world of work having the core skills to succeed.
  • A rapid and responsive system ensuring that learners and employers have more flexibility within government regulated training initiatives, with smaller credits and bolt-on flexible modules that are quick to develop and more agile for employers.
  • Harnessing technology – leading in responding to changing occupational competencies, embracing adaptive education AI to deliver bespoke learning pathways, personalising courses to individual’s strengths and career aspirations.

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