Paul Grainger is co-director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, UCL, and co-chair of the T20 Task Force on The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age.

The G20 is chaired this year by Saudi Arabia. That was always going to be interesting. But then came COVID 19. Very sensibly the secretariat tore up much of the intended agenda and placed the machinery of the G20 on a pandemic footing.

Wisely, it has focussed on how we recover from the economic and social trauma we are witnessing. Build back better has become the slogan of 2020, now widely adopted.

The message from G20 is quite clear[1]: COVID is probably survivable, climate change is not. If we get the short-term recovery wrong, there will be no long-term. There is unanimity: we must resist the temptation to burn our way into recovery. We must be clever with technology and how we interact with it. This will involve educators adopting a very different world view.

A New, Emerging Economy

A new, emerging economy, supported by artificial intelligence, was already underway. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has accelerated massively during this pandemic. Those advising the G20 agree that it is vital that it leads to a green recuperation.

The Policy Briefs, produced by teams of academics to advise the leaders of the G20, now being submitted agree that this has significant implications for education and skills. Knowledge can be downloaded: competencies cannot. The ‘skills ecology’ metaphor is now widespread. Action in one locality impacts on other areas, often in unintended ways. In the fragile world that will emerge, ethical considerations will be vital. Competencies will be the currency of the 4IR[2]. Hopefully ethics will be its engine.

To keep the economy green our students, both young and old, have to be prepared to work smarter, neater, and in a principled way. This means a wholesale change in attitudes, in the nature of society, and so in how we are preparing our students for both employment and civic life.

The Changing Nature of Employment

 

This is clear in the Policy Briefs that I have studied. Not only the nature of work, but also the nature of employment will change.

The upheaval in the industrial revolution leads to the dilemma of creating new job categories vs. the fear of losing conventional jobs[3].

A conventional approach to the economy will have no future. As a result,

The intense global competition and rapid technological advances demand better-prepared graduates and reskilling the currently employed. Education irrelevancy is a challenge where graduates lack the knowledge and skills to generate choices for employment, and in fact, there is no confidence in the education programs outputs. It is also essential to acknowledge that we are in the era of transition from job in its traditional form to more diverse forms of works[4]. We must anticipate that the industrial transformation will catalyze the informal gig economy and newer job categories.

This Policy Brief recommends that:

An industry-friendly policy framework needs to accommodate a modus operandi for contextualized automation for each industry, especially in the areas of STEM education, alternative employment, privacy rights, and adaptive policy frameworks benefiting the overall industry.

As the nature of work changes, so will the institutions that provide it:

The growth of the platform economy is likely to create more precarious work conditions than formal employment, in terms of job security and social protection. To ensure ‘Decent Work for All’ in line with Sustainable Development Goal -8, there is a need to strengthen and revitalize the institutions of work.[5]

These writers are thinking through major changes in attitudes and interactions. A fascinating Brief by Paul Twomey and Kirsten Martin[6] looks at how relationships will change as the concept of the ‘professional’ begins to disappear.

In the offline world, we have developed safeguards to ensure that those with intimate knowledge of others do not exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses of individuals through manipulation. Yet, online data aggregators and their related AI firms, with whom we have no relationship (for instance a contract), have more information about our preferences, concerns, and vulnerabilities than our priests, doctors, lawyers, or therapists.

They are concerned about the citizen’s autonomy in an AI-driven world:

We propose that governments should extend their existing off-line protections and standards against manipulation to also cover these data controllers which presently have the knowledge and proximity of a very intimate relationship without the governance and trust inherent to such relationships in the off-line market. We also propose several steps to protect citizens’ autonomy and decrease user deception. Extensions. The ability of ‘data traffickers’ and their AI partners to leverage knowledge they have on almost every person on the Internet makes the scale of the public policy and political challenge worthy of Ministers and Heads of Government[7]

A New Morality

New competencies and frameworks will be developed to protect a changing social contract. There will be a reconsideration of what it is to be human.

Policy Briefs are urging a new morality around emerging poor behaviours: misuse of data, fake news and exploitation of workers.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) requires individuals to be adaptable, critical thinkers who constantly re-skill themselves. Education must abandon its obsession with content, examinations and evaluations and focus on critical thinking, adaptation and acquiring learning skills. Teachers and students need to re-think their roles[8].

In a rapidly changing world, the workplace is shaped by the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into all business functions through automation and digitalization, impacting all workers, jobs, professions, and societies. As the capacity of AI expands to impact the realm of learning, workplace training demands the maximization of these new capabilities and the transition to a new frontier in which unique developmental needs of every worker is met through individualized training. Maximizing technology affordances is not just a case of the right organizational strategy, it requires collective economic and societal effort for successful transformation to a new dimension.[9]

Virtual Conferences

For many of us the most physical manifestation of the new technology has been the virtual conference. My work has been uninterrupted despite being locked out of my office for months. I have continued to work with Riyadh, with colleagues from Berlin, constrained only by time zones - bringing colleagues from Tokyo and New York together is a challenge. This is low-energy stuff: I have now not travelled many thousands of miles.

During the pandemic colleges have shown that 3D printers can bring production much closer[10] As with other industrial revolutions there will be a change in the sense of place, of locality, of how we come together, how we produce and how we assemble. A new philosophy of civic life is required.

The final Riyadh summit of world leaders starts on 21 November. By that time we may have a clearer picture of how the pandemic has impacted on the world. It is to be hoped that the resulting Communique captures the clarity of thinking in the emerging briefing documents.

The members of the G20 represent two thirds of the world’s population and 90 per cent of global production. It can have a massive impact. Hopefully COVID will not distract from an assessment of how the new, AI supported arrangements can led to a greener future.

Paul Grainger is co-director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, UCL, and co-chair of the T20 Task Force on The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age.

References:

[1] T 20 Conference: Policy Recommendations for a Post-Covid19 World. 12 June 2020. Superbly led and co-ordinated by Heidi Alaskary.

[2] G 20 Policy Brief: Competencies: the currency of the fourth industrial revolution economy. Omaimah Bamasag, King Abdulaziz Universiy, Ghadah Aldabbagh, King Abdulaziz University.

[3] G 20 Policy Brief: The Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Technological Disruption on Education, Employment, and Workplaces, Syed Munir Khasru, IPAG Asia Pacific. Riasat Noor, IPAG Asia Pacific, Cian Mulligan, KAPSARC. Baltasar Manzano, Universidade de Vigo. Ramiro Albrieu, CIPPEC.Martín Rapetti, CIPPEC. Mar. 20, 2020

[4] ibid

[5] G 20 Policy Brief: Decent work in the platform economy. Radhicka Kapoor, Senior Fellow, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations;

[6] G 20 Policy Brief. A Step to Implementing the G20 Principles on Artificial Intelligence: Ensuring Data Aggregators and AI Firms Operate in The Interests of Data Subjects, Dr Paul Twomey, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Professor Kirsten Martin, Chair, Strategic Management and Public Policy, George Washington University School of Business.

7 ibid

[8] G 20 Policy Brief. Gamification: education for the fourth industrial revolution Mario Torres, European Institute for International Studies. Shaun Riordan, European Institute for International Studies

[9] G 20 Policy Brief: Reskilling employees for future work: how G20 countries can utulize artifical intelligence-based learning technologies to scale up workplace training. Mesut Akdere, Ph.D., Purdue University,

[10] Colleges as Civic Anchors in response to COVID 19. FE News, 16 April 2020

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 8 hours 48 minutes ago

RT @FENews: #SkillsWorldLIVE is now live: @TomBewick will be joined by special guests @mimsdavies IS LIVE right now... live and direct from…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page