The start of the new year has brought much speculation into what the top jobs will be, not only for the year, but for the future too.

With this in mind, how are we preparing both ourselves and our future talent for the opportunities that lie ahead?

With 2.32 million students studying at UK higher education institutions, the UK is now a world leader in 'skills'.

It has, on paper, the most skilled workforce the country has ever had. However, statistics show that there is actually a huge skills gap in the UK. We have crises of talent shortfalls in HGV drivers, constructions, quantity surveyors and engineers, amongst the other roles.

It is therefore essential that employers share the responsibility of developing their future talent and leaders to ensure that they have the right people, with the right skills coming through the ranks to deliver the business needs of the future.

Other statistics show that 31% of all graduates are not doing graduate, or high skilled jobs. Only half of all UK graduates are working in a field that relates to their degree after leaving university, in addition, 96% say they had switched careers by the time they reached the age of 24.

With so many further education options available, a degree is no longer the only way to prepare yourself for the job you've always wanted. If people decide that university isn't for them, then they shouldn't panic.

From degree apprenticeships and foundation degrees, to higher apprenticeships and traineeships, there are plenty more options out there, however the fundamental problem is many students just don't know they exist.

We also need to consider the views of those recruiting and possible biased managers. How do they choose to hire new talent needed in their organisation in order to create new talent and the leaders of the future? Are they happy to consider candidates from all of these routes or will they favour a degree as preferable.

With 84% of 16-24 year olds revealing that they don't know how to turn the interests they're passionate about into a career, and 49% of these respondents considering that their lack of qualifications halts them exploring aspirational career opportunities, it is about getting the right people for the right jobs, and supporting different kinds of learning types.

Degrees are all well and good but they largely focus on delivering technical skills only. There has often been a lack of focus on developing the behaviours, knowledge and skills that can create what is known as a 'T-shaped' member of staff who not only possesses in-depth specialist knowledge, but who also has a broad base of skills across different areas.

Advertisement

This poses the importance of soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are a set of skills that include behaviour, communication skills, teamwork aubility, management skills, appropriate attitude, etc. whereas hard skills are a set of specialist skills that are obtained through years of practice or learning, they can be described as skills that are needed for a specific task, or technical skills.

With the current demand for 'T-shaped' learners we need to develop our talent so that they have as much breadth of learning as possible. Organisations are looking for well-rounded individuals that can demonstrate both a broad range of soft and hard skills to be their leaders of the future.

So what are the key skills for future leaders?

According to LinkedIn:

  1. Creativity: all that talk about robots taking everyone's jobs? Not going to happen. That's because companies want people who can think their business to new heights.
  2. Persuasion: you need to persuade people of things every day, so you need the skills to do that compellingly and effectively.
  3. Collaboration: as companies knock down silos across the organisation, people are being expected to work together with other departments and co-workers like never before.
  4. Adaptability: we all know the old adage, the only thing constant is change and every workplace is subject to it. It's best to react better when change inevitably comes.
  5. Time management: this is a skill as old as time, but as new demands on your schedule emerge, you'll be ready to handle them.

How to stay one step ahead of the competition

As mentioned above, hard skills are just as important as soft skills, so companies should also be on the lookout for the following:

  1. Cloud computing: as the whole world makes the transition to the cloud, companies are scrambling for individuals with the skills to keep up with demand.
  2. Artificial intelligence: AI is disrupting all manner of industries, from retail to transport, those who fail to embrace it face being left behind.
  3. Analytical reasoning: in the world of big data, knowing what to do with it is proving crucial. It's all well and good having the information, but companies are looking for people capable of formulating solutions based on what it tells them.
  4. People management: leaders who can motivate, engage and empower employees are found to have greater success while also making a more welcoming work environment.
  5. UX design: it's the process of enhancing user satisfaction being the driving force behind any business model, ensuring a positive user experience is tantamount to success.

Many organisations are welcoming that these skills are going to be the driving force of future talent. So there is an urgent need for companies to invest in their people strategy by developing their existing employees to prepare them to be future leaders in this time of change, as well as upskill them to work more digitally in the future.

By embracing the skills mentioned above, and ensuring that the talent of the future will help organisations prepare for the future of work, and allow them to stay one step ahead of the competition.

You may also be interested in these articles:

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